Discuss Detroit » Archives - Beginning July 2006 » Downtown Hudson's Questions « Previous Next »
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Dalangdon
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Username: Dalangdon

Post Number: 28
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 67.171.17.254
Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2006 - 10:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am very interested in the former Hudson's Department Store. While there is all sorts of information and pictures of the store during the glory years, I am interested in the latter years of operation.

For instance, the books and websites say that a good chunk of the building was closed off by the time they announced they were closing the store, but they don't say how much. Also, I've noticed that people have mentioned that not all of the entrances or display windows were being used in the later years, but they don't say how many.

My questions are: How many floors were still open? Was all of the first floor still used? How many restaurants were still open? What departments were still operating? Did they still offer high-end fashion and home furnishings, or was it just a skeletal operation of mid-range merchandise? do you think that if they had a smaller building they could have stayed open longer, or was the market just not there?

Anyway, any information anyone might have would be appreciated. I have always been fascinated with old style department stores, and since Hudson's was one of the biggest, it's a particularly interesting topic
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Magic_mushroom
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Username: Magic_mushroom

Post Number: 5
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 24.220.197.208
Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2006 - 10:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree, the old downtown department stores were works of art. I wish I could have walked through the old Hudson's. If anyone has any pics of the latter years, especially when the building was empty, please post!
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Huggybear
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Username: Huggybear

Post Number: 238
Registered: 08-2005
Posted From: 69.218.157.165
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 8:06 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you want to know what end-stage Hudson's was like, go to Macy's on 34th in Manhattan today.
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Miketoronto
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Username: Miketoronto

Post Number: 187
Registered: 07-2004
Posted From: 65.92.153.236
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 11:02 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have a history book on Hudson's. Its amazing to see what that store had. To think they had a section just for fabrics from around the world.
And like half a floor of hats for men :-)

Anyway the book does not mention any huge downsizing in the latter years. It does mention a huge renovation that went on in the 70's, and added alot of 70's looking design to the floors and made the store modern :-)

According to the book, the downstairs book department was the highest grossing department of the entire HUDSON'S chain, even during the bad years of downtown Detroit. Pretty cool that department even beat the suburban stores.

Sadly Hudson's was seeing decreased traffic at its store from the min they built the first suburban branch. So much so, that Detroit use to have downtown Detroit days to get people to come downtown to the main Hudson's Store, because people got to use to going to the suburban ones, even before the decline of downtown Detroit. That acccording to the book.

The book is very interesting. I am sure there was some downsizing, but it does not say that the store was consolidated that much. Unless they just left it out of the book .
But man what cool info in there.

(Message edited by miketoronto on June 25, 2006)
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Livedog2
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Username: Livedog2

Post Number: 509
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Posted From: 24.223.133.177
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 11:53 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well that's great information but what the hell is the name of the book?

Livedog2
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Quinn
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Username: Quinn

Post Number: 765
Registered: 01-2005
Posted From: 69.242.213.101
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 12:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Hudson's: Detroit's Legendary Department Store"

http://www.amazon.com/gp/produ ct/0738533556/qid=1151251739/s r=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-5936569-0 374267?s=books&v=glance&n=2831 55

One of the authors, Marianne, is a neighbor of ours. It's a GREAT book.
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 480
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Posted From: 35.12.18.234
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 12:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The book is "Hudson's: Detroit's Legendary Department Store," by Michael Hauser and Marianne Weldon. The book doesn't go into much detail about the downsizing, but the store definitely shrank greatly. Arcadia books are great for pictures, but the text leaves something to be desired for comprehensiveness and detail.

In "Hudson's: Hub of America's Heartland" by Jean Maddern Pitrone, (long since out of print), the author mentions that a "retraction program" was put into place in 1970, and that roughly one floor per year in that decade was closed off. Pitrone also mentions that in 1977, a number of display windows on the Farmer St. side were covered up.

Miketoronto-- you said, "because people got to use to going to the suburban ones, even before the decline of downtown Detroit."

I'd say that by the time people started going to Northland (spring 1954) when they normally would have gone downtown, downtown had started to decline.
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 648
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Posted From: 207.200.116.139
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 12:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My last memories of Hudson's, just before they closed, was that the main floor seemed to be acres of display cases arranged in little islands with a sales clerk behind each one. The displays were (as I recall) all ladies' items....perfumes, bath stuff, silk hankies, and all that foo-foo stuff. Maybe some jewelry displays.

Sure wasn't any Black & Decker items.

On the mezzanine was the restaurant which had pretty decent chow and reasonable prices. Would take the escalator there, and walk by their postage stamp collection sales cases. Had some pretty good items -- Columbian Exposition, Zepplins, Parcel Post, etc. -- but the prices were a tad high for me.

To the last day, the elevators were manned (womanned???) by elevator operators who called out the contents of each floor as the doors opened. All the operators, as I recall, were black females, and extremely nice and helpful.

Adjacent to each elevator bank was a beautiful brass water fountain. The base was perhaps a foot in diameter, it narrowed as it rose, and flared out to over a foot at the top. They were absolutely beautiful items. I wish I could have scored one for my patio when the place shut down (legitimately, I mean, not theft).

In the middle of the first floor, running N to S, was an "indoor alleyway" that trucks used for deliveries, and you had to cross it to go to the Farmer Street side from the Woodward Street side. Somehow that corridor always struck me as odd.
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Livedog2
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Username: Livedog2

Post Number: 510
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Posted From: 24.223.133.177
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 12:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does anyone out there have an 8mm movie of the J.L. Hudson's Department Store Thanksgiving Parade from 1963? Or, if anyone has any ideas about the possibility of archives, news agencies or libraries that might have a copy of that Parade from 1963 that may be available for public perusal? The last thought is that I wonder if the local news agencies might have a copy of that year’s Parade in their archives. Anyone with any ideas about this I would appreciate hearing about them. Thanks.

Livedog2
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Gumby
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Username: Gumby

Post Number: 1285
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Posted From: 68.60.143.186
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 1:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why specifically 1963?
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Livedog2
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Post Number: 512
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Posted From: 24.223.133.177
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 1:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Because that was the last Parade I marched in with many of my employee friends that I haven't seen since that day.

Livedog2
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Gumby
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Username: Gumby

Post Number: 1287
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Posted From: 68.60.143.186
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 1:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Makes sense. I was just curious.
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Quinn
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Username: Quinn

Post Number: 766
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Posted From: 69.242.213.101
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 1:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Livedog2...I serched for your parade on youtube.com and it came up with a commercial for hudsons. Very short...and I'm trying to figure out when it was made...if the pictures are of downtown detroit. That woman looks a little too stylish for mid-80's (or before it closed).

http://youtube.com/watch?v=IGa LD8WCThE&search=hudsons%20detr oit
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Livedog2
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Post Number: 513
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Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 2:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks, Quinn!

Livedog2
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Dalangdon
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Username: Dalangdon

Post Number: 29
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Posted From: 67.171.17.254
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 3:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for all the input. These descriptions of Hudsons reminds me of the long-gone Frederick & Nelson here in Seattle. It was a division of Marshall Fields for many years, and is generally considered to be the father of Frangos (the lore is that they were named for FRederick and Nelson Company) but Franco didn't sit well with the rise of fascism in Spain, so they changed it a bit. :-)

It was much smaller than Hudsons, of course, but still impressively large and very classy, with a great bakery, smoke shop, tea room, lunch counter, and lots of interesting departments you don't see anymore (books, hobbies, toys, etc).

After they went out of business in 1993, the building sat empty until Nordstrom moved in. I'm glad the building was kept, but Nordstrom really did a hatchet job on it. Nothing original, nothing distinctive - it looks like a mall store, right down to the atrium with escalator.

So how many floors of retail did Hudsons have at one time, and how many floors were left at the end?
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Hagglerock
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Username: Hagglerock

Post Number: 252
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Posted From: 12.214.243.66
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 3:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quinn,
For some strange reason I vividly remember that commercial, especially the clock sounds and busy city streets. I can remember seeing it in the early 90's in Minnesota when we would visit family for Christmas. Ironicaly the "13 hour sale" jingle was in my head only days ago, crazy the things you remember that for no reason pop into your head!!!!

The only thing I'm not sure of was I originally thought it was a Dayton's commercial, but weren't they the same thing at one point?
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Douglasm
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Username: Douglasm

Post Number: 584
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.189.188.28
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 3:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dalangdon....
....Didn't David Sabey have an ownership stake in F&N--and The Cresent in Spokane--at the time of its closure? By that time I didn't think Marshall Fields had a hand in it, that's why the fight over the rights to Frangos. It was sold to Field's competetor, Federated Department Stores via The Bon Marche. Got to admit I miss Fredricks. Miss The Bon, too. Macy*s is a different, more boring store. Decidedly non Northwest in the same way Hudson's as Marshall Fields probably doesn't reflect Detroit much.....
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Quinn
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Username: Quinn

Post Number: 768
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Posted From: 69.242.213.101
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 4:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes...the Parent company was Dayton-Hudson Corp for a long time.

Then they got into a little store named Target.

I've looked at that commercial again and again...it can't be detroit...too many people for mid-80's. Must be Minneapolis?
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Dalangdon
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Username: Dalangdon

Post Number: 30
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Posted From: 67.171.17.254
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 4:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Douglasm,

Yeah, Sabey owned F&N at the end. Ironically enough, I beleive Marshal-Fields sold it off in part to fend off a hostile takeover by Dayton-Hudson-Target-etc and we all know how that ended.

If MF hadn't sold off F&N, we'd theoretically have two big Macy's in downtown Seattle now: The Bon and F&N. If Federated hadn't closed I. Magnin, we'd have three.

I don't really blame Sabey. He had a lot of things going against him, including a lot of residual debt. What really killed F&N was the owner of the Bellevue Square mall. Sabey tried to sell the suburban stores to Mervyns (or something like that) and the guy who owned BS (an apt acronym if there ever was one) didn't want something that "low-end" in his mall. They probably could have turned the corner if they could have gotten that cash. F&N would have been smaller, but the economies of downtown Seattle shopping, coupled with investments from their major vendors (who were lined up with the cash) would have pulled it through.

But I digress...

Quinn, I think you are right about the commercial being MPLS. I think that Clock was/is on the old Dayton store in Downtown Minneapolis.
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Hysteria
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Username: Hysteria

Post Number: 619
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 205.188.116.137
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 5:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

FYI on Frederick & Nelson -

The 1982 purchase of Marshall Field's by BATUS Retail Group (a unit of British American Tobacco - US) proved ill-fated for the Frederick & Nelson subsidiary. By 1986, an overstretched BATUS decided to dispose of Frederick & Nelson, selling it and Spokane-based retailer The Crescent to a Washington state-based investor group.

Courtesy: Wikipedia
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 481
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 35.12.24.161
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 6:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Actually, that clock in the commercial is probably at the Marshall Field's State St. Chicago store.

The Dayton Co. established Target in 1962-- the same year Kresge started up Kmart.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 2352
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 4.229.81.229
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 8:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Speaking of which.... why hasn't the name change from Marshall Fields to Macy's taken place yet???
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 482
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Posted From: 35.12.20.203
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 9:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The switch to Macy's for all Marshall Field's will happen in September, according to this press release:

http://www.fds.com/ir/maymerge r/pressreleases/local/060427.a sp
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Akoper
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Username: Akoper

Post Number: 5
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Posted From: 4.229.99.135
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 12:31 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's one of my photos for the second post Photo of Hudsons Bldg
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Miketoronto
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Username: Miketoronto

Post Number: 188
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Posted From: 65.92.145.103
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 10:10 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I wonder if Hudson's would still be going, if they never downsized?

If the store had maintained better selection, etc, then the suburban stores, then maybe it would still be a destination.

The problem with downtown stores is that when they downsize, they no longer have an advantage over suburban stores, and that causes even more decline.
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Spacemonkey
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Username: Spacemonkey

Post Number: 48
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Posted From: 63.102.87.27
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 10:15 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My grandfather said, 'you could spend the whole day at Hudson's and never leave the building. Everything you needed for a day's outing was there: shopping, retaurants etc. You'd just ride the elevator to what you needed. It was huge.'

My only memories of the Hudson's building (when it was open) was circa '73 / '74. Hudson's would have a Christmas winter wonderland festival. My parents would take us there to see Santa and play the games, and ride the rides. They'd have wooden cutouts of snowmen and such with holes in them, then give us kids styrofoam 'snowballs' to try to toss through the holes. No cost. No prizes. Just for fun. We loved it.
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Oldredfordette
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Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 10:42 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They used to put radically discounted items in the corridor/alley - I still have a couple of things I got there.

I worked at Crosby Shoes on Grand River and Woodward (torn down now to make a parking structure for the lofts). It was so rat infested we couldn't use the bathrooms sometimes. Twice a day, I would run across the street and up 4 escalators to the beautiful Hudsons bathroom.

The pedestrian mall really hurt businesses downtown, it took so long and discouraged people from coming down. (not to mention what they did to poor beautiful Washington Boulevard) The strip never really recovered.
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Rsa
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Posted From: 70.227.12.98
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 11:25 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

during the 1970's renovations, they made the floors smaller, rather than closing off entire floors. what i mean by this was that they walled of the perimeter of the floors (including the windows) so that there were often vast empty rooms in between the sales areas and the exterior of the building. i think they found it was more efficient to make each floor smaller, centered around the elevators, instead of consolidating merchandise and closing off entire floors. the lower floors, however, still were used in their entirety. from my memory, i think it was primarily the first floor, mezzanine, and second/third floors (mens apparel). i believe that every floor was used (to some extent) until close to the very end.

when the corporate offices were still there (1983-1989?) they walled off part of the first floor and mezzanine in the farmer st. building to create a lobby for the offices. the rest of this area, and the old retail floors, were cordoned off.

they kept a full range of products up until the very end. remember that the hudson's warehouse downtown did not close until around 2001 (now luxury boxes for ford field). i know for sure that the mezzanine restaurant and the pine room were still operating at the end.

the alleyway between the building was a result of expansion over the original alleyway. keep in mind that hudson's was a combination of 9 different buildings/additions, not just one building. around the 1920's is when they enclosed the alleyway to connect the woodward building and farmer st. building. this alleyway also acted as the shipping/receiving and loading for the entire building. i've heard stories that this is also where the detroit mounted police would rest on rainy days...

some fast fun facts about the old flagship store: it had the largest telephone switchboard in the world, second only to the pentagon. it had one of the first computer mainframe systems (which was still there when she came down. fur storage for 83,000 garments. raquetball court in the water tower for exec's. used as much power as the city of ypsilanti. had two freight elevators that could lift entire tractor trailors. was the largest installation of otis elevators.
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Dalangdon
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Post Number: 31
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Posted From: 66.54.213.11
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 12:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks, Rsa. That's very interesting to know. I believe that Carson Pirie Scott has a similar arrangement with an alley at their downtown Chicago store.

I grew up outside of Omaha and there was a big department store there named Brandeis that closed in the 70's sometime. They converted the building into offices for the Union Pacific, but kept the main floor as a mall-ish sort of thing with limited success. Brandeis tried to keep a small store on the main floor that sold mostly women's office wear, but that didn't last long.

The old Brandeis is now converted to condominiums that are selling for serious amounts of money (especially for Omaha) and they are selling out! I took a tour of a few of them when I was home and they are quite clever.
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Livedog2
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Posted From: 24.223.133.177
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 12:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I worked at Hudson's Downtown in 1962-63. I worked in the Package Pick-Up & Gift Wrap Department. Some of the younger people wouldn’t believe it but Hudson’s use to deliver your packages to your home or office or wherever for free. People would shop, buy their merchandise and leave it at the departments where they purchased them.

The job required all of us Package Pick-Up Clerks to go to our assigned work stations and mine were the 1st, Mezzanine and 2nd floors. Then we would pick-up the packages along with the paperwork of who bought what and where it was to be delivered. If it was just a straight delivery it would go to the 3rd Floor for staging and distribution for loading on the Green Hudson’s Delivery Trucks. If they required gift wrapping then they went to the Mezzanine for gift wrapping first then onto the 3rd Floor.

We use to get paid in a cash envelope with our deductions hand written on the front of the envelope. I still have some of those envelopes. We were also issued a copper employee disk for our keychain with our employee member number on it. I still have my employee disk. When I first started working there there weren’t any young black men or boys working there. There many blacks that worked there as Elevator Operators, Warehousemen, Porters, Kitchen Staff, Janitors and many other jobs. They were good, hard working people with lots of dignity and fine character.

Then Hudson’s started hiring young black men or boys whatever you want to call them to work in our department and other departments. But, these were the, as Danny would say, the ghettohood thugs. You couldn’t get them to work, they were always hiding out among themselves, smoking cigarettes in non-smoking areas and more. I never saw an illegal act until they hired these young black men and then one day at the end of the day a couple of us went into the 10th Floor Storage Area and here they were – seven (7) of them had boxes of dozens of Italian Knit Shirts which were very popular among all of the young black men and boys in those days. They were also very expensive!

Here they all were madly pulling on shirt over shirt over shirt. Then they put their coats on laughing and joking and said, “We better not hear ‘bout you say’in anything about this to Mr. So-And-So!”, on their way out. This was a real shock to me because I had never seen anything like this in my life. Just goes to show how naïve and sheltered I was!! But, I did say something to Mr. So-And-So the next day, along with the others that witnessed it. About a month later fifteen (15) of them were rounded up and dressed down and admonished as they were fired that they had their names and photos on file and if they ever came into a Hudson’s Store they would be arrested and prosecuted for their crimes. So much for my naiveté and innocence!

But, working for the J.L. Hudson’s Department Store was one of the best experiences of my life that has held me in good stead all my life. I am proud to have been a part of that Detroit Institution! Even after I left my employment at Hudson’s to join the Marine Corps they gave me a Military Leave with the promise of having a job when I came back and I still maintained my 25% Employee Discount during that whole period. That’s it for now!

Livedog2
tagtag2
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Hardhat
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Post Number: 133
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Posted From: 68.73.4.227
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 1:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here are some photos of the interior that I took about two years before Hudson's was demolished.I believe this was a cafeteria.
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Hardhat
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Post Number: 134
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Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 1:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Executive gym changing area.
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Hardhat
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Post Number: 135
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Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 1:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This was an area outside the executive offices, for secretaries, I presume.
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Hardhat
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Post Number: 136
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Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 1:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Water damage.
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Hardhat
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Post Number: 137
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Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 1:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Executive offices. I was amazed the woodwork was so intact. One of these might have been Joe Hudson's. They were surprisingly small.
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Hardhat
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Post Number: 138
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Posted From: 68.73.4.227
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 1:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Escalator carcass. The urban miners had done their work.
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Hardhat
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Post Number: 139
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Posted From: 68.73.4.227
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 1:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This was located in the executive gym area in one of the upper floors. It's a hot box, I believe. Get in, stick your head out the top, and enjoy a good sweat. I could be wrong about what it was for,but that's what it looked like to me.
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Hardhat
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Post Number: 140
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Posted From: 68.73.4.227
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 1:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Switchboard carcass, I do believe. This was part of one of the largest switchboard systems ever built. Even the small phone wires had their insulation burned off by the urban miners by the time I saw it.
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Livedog2
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Post Number: 531
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Posted From: 24.223.133.177
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 1:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Great shots, Hardhat!

Livedog2
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Hardhat
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Post Number: 141
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Posted From: 68.73.4.227
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 1:22 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

General vandalism. There were holes in walls too numerous to count as the miners looked for usable metal.
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Hardhat
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Post Number: 142
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Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 1:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

One of the signs was still intact. It was eerie. Really cool.
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Hardhat
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Post Number: 143
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.73.4.227
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 1:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Whoops, there was another sign, too.
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Hardhat
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Post Number: 144
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Posted From: 68.73.4.227
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 1:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Some more water damage. I was amazed that some of the edges of windows were sealed with foam in a can, which I don't think was even invented until Hudson's closed. Maybe some urban miners wanted to keep the heat in from all that burned insulation?
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Hardhat
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Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 1:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Elevator bank. That was asbestos tainted insulation on the floor. Asbestos was everywhere. The construction guys I talked to said it would be amazing if the urban miners had a long life ahead of them.
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Hardhat
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Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 1:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Elevator car interior
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Hardhat
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Post Number: 147
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Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 1:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

More interior damage.
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Lmichigan
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Post Number: 3914
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Posted From: 24.11.154.56
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 1:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dalangdon,

To answers your question about how many retail floors Hudson's had it contained 2 basement retail levels and 23 above-ground retail levels from my research. Of course, people that actually frequented the store regularly would be better sources. Overall, the building had 4 basement levels (2 mechanical and 2 retail), and 28 above-ground levels (23 retail and a 6-story mechanical/storage penthouse tower). It still holds the record for the tallest department store/retail building ever built, I believe. And, seeing as how things like Hudson's haven't been built since, it will probably hold that title for the forseeable future.
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 486
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 35.12.24.133
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 2:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hardhat-- thank you so much for posting those pictures! I've been wanting to see pics like that for years. I realize that the Historical Museum and/or the Greater Downtown Partnership has hundreds of interior photos taken before the demolition, but they aren't easy to get a look at.

As for the foam insulation on the windows, it may have been applied by Dayton-Hudson as late as Dec. 1989, since that's when the building was sold. The building was mothballed fairly well until then.

The fourth-to-last pic posted is of the 13th floor Riverview Room. You could easily distinguish those distinctive 1960's- altered Farmer St.-facing windows from the street.

One thing I really want to see but have never heard a word about are floor plans of the store from ANY time period. It was such a gigantic maze and I'd really like to see exactly how it was all put together.

Rsa-- The last office workers left in Oct. '86.
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Burnsie
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Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 2:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A cutaway drawing in "Life" magazine in 1959 showed that Hudson's even had a fifth basement for stuff like sump pumps and boilers. It didn't extend over as big an area as the other basements. With that information, info from Jean Maddern Pitrone's book and the brochure put out by the Historical Museum in 1997, we have:

Five basements
First floor
Mezzanine
Floors 2-15
Fifteenth and one-half floor
Floors 16-21
21st and one-half floor
Floors 22-28

The highest public level appeared to be 17, public areas being: Fur Will Call and Repairs, World Wide Insurance.
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Lmichigan
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Post Number: 3917
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Posted From: 24.11.154.56
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 2:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What were above the floor 17 that they weren't public?

BTW, has anyone ever found any elevations of other plans of the building? I've always been interested in gleaning architectural information from it, but I'm unsure who the architect of the addition (what would become simply known as Hudon's) was, and if their are any public architectural drawings of the structure.
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Rsa
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Posted From: 70.227.12.98
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 2:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

hardhat; that is an executive office and is the exact same layout as joe hudson's office. however, if memory serves, jl's office was painted light blue and might've had the wood panelling whitewashed. also take note of the private bathroom thru the doorway to the right. you can also see the very bottom of a ceiling fisture; i know for certain that the fixture from jl's was taken when hudson's vacated (i believe by the family themselves).

that was indeed a steamer, however it has had it's steam pipes taken from it. those overall shots you have are very indicative of most of the retail floors; very nondescript and stripped of almost any indication of it's previous use. those painted signs were from the grand river stairwell and original. in the seventies plastic signs were put over top and the rest was painted over. those signs had long been "liberated." the blue painted florr was, i believe, the floor with the toy department. it had been painted that color with a kind of "cloud" scheme at the bottom and was heavily water damaged.

there was an attempt in the mid-nineties to do asbestos abatement on the building. quite a bit of asbestos was removed and gathered on the third floor as a type of staging area. it looked like mountains of snow. money ran out, work was stopped, and it sat there getting tracked and blown throughout the rest of the building in its loose and most dangerous state. i'd find it hard to believe they got it all before the implosion.

thanx burnsie, i had heard many different accounts of the timing of the office departure. downtown hudson's was owned and maintained for 3 and a half more years after that by the hudson's corp. in 1990 the original brass letters spelling out "hudson's" were removed via helicopter from the tower. they were then sold for scrap and melted down. it was then that the "canadian firm of investors" began the whole scale stripping of the building with no permit, security, or sealing off of the building...
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Hamtramck_steve
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Posted From: 136.181.195.17
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 2:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They would have been the corporate offices at the top.

As for the addition, you need to be much more specific about which addition you're talking about. The Hudson's "Building" was really 9 buildings constructed over several decades.
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Andrew69
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Posted From: 71.82.95.24
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 2:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hardhat, your correct aboout the use of the "hot box" although, I don't know if that's what is was actaully called. Singer Castle in the 1000 Islands area of New York has a similar one.
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Rsa
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Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 2:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

sh&g (smith hinchman and gryllis now smithgroup) did most of the architecture and design for the buildings. check the book mentioned above for the dates and architects of each specific piece, the tower addition, i know for certain, was done by sh&g. you can buy a poster of the architectural section thru this portion at the detroit historical museum.

the main body of the building was, essentially, three or four buildings: the two main ones on woodward, the farmer street building, and the tower section. the rest are smaller additions, mostly set on top. the small end-piece was a major addition that made the building take up the entire block (corner of woodward and gratiot). other additions include several floors added on top of the building.

ironically, hudson's believed they would continue to grow, so designed the additions with the intent of continued expansion: columns were brought up thru the roof, capped, and water proofed so they could keep going up when the market warrented it. [much like the columns that stick up above the garage currently.] obviously, this never occured.
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Lmichigan
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Post Number: 3920
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Posted From: 24.11.154.56
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 3:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm talking about the last major addition that included the construction of the large mechanical tower, among other parts of the building.
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Burnsie
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Posted From: 35.12.22.202
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 3:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A Free Press article from 1986 mentions that the last office employees moved out on Halloween that year. A skeletal maintenance staff remained until the Dec. 1989 sale to Southwestern. Initially, 1,100 office workers remained on five floors after the store closed, according to Pitrone's book. A big number started leaving with the May 1984 shift of a lot of operations, including buying, to Minneapolis. Only around 100 remained by Oct. '86.

As for architectural drawings, accounts in the newspapers at the time of demolition mentioned that the demolition team wasn't able to locate any, and that was a reason the demolition planning was so difficult. At least one is still known to exist: an elevation of the Grand River end of the new Farmer St. building from 1923. This was reproduced on a Historical Museum poster.

Executive offices were on the 11th floor.

From the brochure put out by the Historical Museum, which is also in the Arcadia Book (this attempts to put together an "all-time" description of floor usage, not all uses described happened at the same time):

Fourteenth Floor

Superintendent's Offices
Employment Office
Information Office
Inspection Office
Employee's Cafeteria
Hospital
Elevator Supervisor's Office and Operators Lounge
Men's Hat Cleaning
Absence Pay Office
Public Lockers
Salon Americana Beauty Salons
Children's Barber Shop
Executive Barber Shop
Corporate Human Resources

Fifteenth Floor

Receiving, Marking and Stock Rooms
Visual Merchandising (Display)
Gift Basket Assembly
Central Gift Wrap

Fifteen and One-Half Floor

Document Storage
Receiving

Seventeenth Floor

Fur Storage
Fur Will Call and Repairs
Central Order Board
Cash Register Repair
World Wide Insurance
Paint Shop
Elevator Penthouse

Eighteenth Floor

Sales Audit (Pneumatic tube system ended here)
Paymaster's Office
Engine Room
Store Rooms

Nineteenth Floor

Advertising
Sales Promotion
Public Relations
Advertising Accounting Office
Downtown Training Room
Video Production
Hudsonian Office
Advertising Photo Studio

Twentieth Floor

Supply Dept.
Purchasing
Main Switchboard
Telephone Equipment Room
Package Development Center
Carillon
Telephone Order Board
Mail Order

Twenty-First Floor

Store Laundry

Twenty-One and One-Half Floor

Corporate Sign Shop
Corporate Print Shop

Twenty-Second Floor

Elevator Maintenance

Twenty-Third Floor

Mechanical Equipment

Twenty-Fourth Floor

Executive Health Spa
Executive Squash Court
Hot Water Tanks

Twenty-Fifth Floor

Door access to wraparound neon sign
Water Tanks

A source in Pitrone's book confirms there were also floors 26 to 28. They seem to have mainly consisted of space for the water tanks, and an area where huge display artwork was done (according to the Hauser book).

The letters on the top were actually made of porcelain-faced copper.

The architect for the original 1891 Farmer St. building and all subsequent additions was Smith, Hinchman & Grylls.
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Burnsie
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Post Number: 489
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Posted From: 35.12.22.202
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 3:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The original 1891 building at the corner of Farmer and Gratiot was torn down in 1923 and a fifteen-story addition built. This is the portion that had the visible column ends on top.

In 1928, the tower and eighteen-story addition that fronted on Farmer, Grand River and Woodward were completed. About 1946, two more floors were put onto the eighteen-story part, and Sallan's Jewelry was torn down for the 12-story addition that finished the block.
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Hardhat
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Post Number: 148
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Posted From: 68.73.4.227
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 3:32 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Closer to implosion time...
This shows the wedge where the building fell into itself.
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Rsa
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Posted From: 70.227.12.98
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 3:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

thanx for the corrections burnsie. guess my memory is a little rusty...

one thing i'm pretty sure of tho; i don't believe the pneumatic tube system ended at the sales audit office on 18. i'mm pretty sure it ended in the fourth basement. i have pictures of a vast system of tubes ending in a room in the fourth basement, in the winter, after it was pumped out (hence quite a few icicles). i also remember mr. hauser finding someone who worked in this room and said how terrible it was: you didn't get to see sunlight for your entire 8 hour shift.

now, there could be two different systems: one for corporate, and one for the sales floor. the room i'm talking about probably was used for the latter.
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Hardhat
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Post Number: 149
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Posted From: 68.73.4.227
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 3:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

An exterior shot of the implosion "wedge"
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Hardhat
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Post Number: 150
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Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 3:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The stripped interior was an extremely dangerous place.
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Mtm
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Username: Mtm

Post Number: 7
Registered: 06-2006
Posted From: 68.43.29.171
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 4:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I adored Hudson's and sincerely agree that what really killed it was the pedestrian mall on Woodward. No vehicle traffic other than busses could go through but, with no stop lights for traffic, busses careemed as they pleased and it was often VERY difficult to cross the street.

The very last day it was open, a coworker and I went to lunch at the main restaurant on the 13th floor. I wanted to toast the Great Lady with champagne but the waitress wouldn't open a bottle for just two glasses. So, I bought the entire bottle, we had our toast, and I asked the waitress to share it with any other customers who also wanted to toast.

On a similar note, several years back, on ebay, i bought a BEAUTIFUL collection of seven Hudson's menus from 1947. Mint condition and each had a custom MI flower on the front. I have them framed in a cluster with one in the center one open (shopper's lunch was $.75 and included appetizer, entree, tea/coffee, and dessert). I was also lucky enough to get a hudson's bag that I put behind the mat, below the open one.

One last thing: Hudson's delivery. Sitting beside my desk is a pink flowery "Mamie Eisenhower" hat that my mom bought there probably before I was born. Its sitting atop its box that was actually delivered. Several years back, when the spousal-unit and I bought a huge painting (over 6" tall) from Hudson's you wouldnt believe the machinations we had to go through to have them deliver it because they were afraid of the liability. So they could deliver a small, inexpensive hat but a large painting was too difficult. go figure...
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Dalangdon
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Post Number: 32
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Posted From: 66.54.213.11
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 4:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for the great pictures! I've never seen any interior pictures before, so this is great!

Thanks also for all the interesting stories about this great store. They really bring Hudson's to life!

(Message edited by dalangdon on June 26, 2006)
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Hamtramck_steve
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Username: Hamtramck_steve

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Posted From: 68.73.59.28
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 6:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The last wall-to-wall carpeting my grandma bought was from the downtown store. It was the strangest shade of 1976 blue. I'm guessing they called it some kind of "colonial blue" or something in honor of the bicentennial.

She went through hell getting the installation right, which the store was never able to do. There was a permanent bump in the middle of the floor that my grandma was forever tripping over when she was in a rush.

Each time she'd trip, she'd mutter something to the effect of "that darn Junior".
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7even
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Posted From: 198.109.26.19
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 10:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If interested here’s a video of the implosion.
http://www.controlled-demoliti on.com/default.asp?reqLocId=7& reqItemId=20030225133807
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Magic_mushroom
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Username: Magic_mushroom

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Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 24.220.197.208
Posted on Tuesday, June 27, 2006 - 12:26 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Again, thanks for the pics Hardhat! I was curious to see what was left in the inside of the building near its end.
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Lmichigan
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Posted From: 24.11.154.56
Posted on Tuesday, June 27, 2006 - 11:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does anyone know all of the dates (completion dates) of all 12 reconstructions after the completion of the 1911 completion of the main building, and generally what was added? It was said that there was 9 earlier, but every other source I've seen states there were 12. I'm pretty much aware of the last expandion that brought us the Hudson's we saw before demolition. I see Burnise posted some of them, but I was wondering if anyone could lay it out in a list-type fashion? I know it's asking a lot but it would be interesting to see how the building evolved. Actually, it would be interesting to see in an animation or graphic someday.
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Aarne_frobom
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Posted From: 162.108.2.222
Posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 - 2:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

By way of a few additions to the posts above, from two summers' work as a stockboy in 1970 and `71:

There were at least two pneumatic-tube termini. One was in the third basement, not the fourth, and was long-disused in 1971. I believe its function was to make change. Hundreds of tubes ended in several rows over a counter in a long, dead-end hallway. It would indeed have been a bleak place to work for 8 hours. The eighteenth floor doesn't sound right for the terminus of the sales-slip system. I can recall large rooms full of clerks handling sales slips on 16 or 17 or some lower floor. That system may have lasted as long as the sales operation in the store. These mountains of sales slips are what I see in my memory when someone talks about the impact of electronic data processing on retailing.

The canisters could be heard zipping through the tubes at various points throughout the store. One my favorite stories from my father's co-workers in the store's offices was the morning one of them found a mouse in his wastebasket - a fairly common occurrence. The creature was removed by slipping it into one of plexiglas canisters and sending it to the women in the audit office.

The different departments were always being moved around the store. When I was there, the 20th floor was largely occupied by a lamp stockroom and the rare-book-and-print storeroom. Not something you'll find in Macy's.

Ever since working in Hudson's, I've compared it with other big urban department stores. I've been to Macy's in New York, Stockmann's in Helsinki, and Harrod's in London. Only the Marshall Field's building in Chicago is more impressive thanks to its interior architecture and none, I think, were classier. Harrod's especially was a dump by comparison, at least in 1994.
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Elevator_fan
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Posted From: 68.41.183.86
Posted on Monday, July 03, 2006 - 1:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I disagree. Harrod's is the only department store I know of that evokes the memories of Hudson's. From its food halls, to its cover-the-spectrum list of departments (appliances, antiques, toys, etc.), to its bustling-with-shoppers ambiance, to, yes, its elevators, Harrod's reminds me of Hudson's in its heydey.

But Harrod's is only about 1/3 the square footage of Hudson's.

As a side note, anyone who admired Hudson's might be interested to see how Los Angeles preserved its own version of Hudson's, Bullocks Wilshire: http://www.bullockswilshire.or g

Years after being abandoned, that store has been restored to its original splendor and is now home to a law school. You can tour it and even enjoy a meal at its original restaurant!
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Mtm
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Posted From: 68.43.29.171
Posted on Monday, July 03, 2006 - 3:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Harrods may have the variety of Hudson's but not the class. Believe it or not, it costs a pound (around $1.50) to use the loo.

I also had an amusing time trying to buy a hat there on our last trip. All the hats are behind glass so a saleslady brings each one out to try on. British hat styles are HUGE - like a foot high and a couple across. I'm pretty small so they looked ridiculous on me (picture the old kid's show Lidsville where all the characters were hats, i.e. the firefighter was a helmet). I kept telling her I wanted something smaller but she though it was the fit not the style. I ended up laughing so hard that my eyes were watering and I had to leave. I dont think the saleslady was too amused, though.
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Miketoronto
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Post Number: 193
Registered: 07-2004
Posted From: 65.92.155.63
Posted on Monday, July 03, 2006 - 11:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Check out David Jones in Sydney, Australia. Now that is an old style department store. It has the food halls, two seperate buildings connected by skywalk, etc.

Its funny, but the department stores that kept the old style, seem to be going strong. Its the ones that downsized and did not offer all the stuff the old stores did, that went into problems.

Of course the second largest department store in North America is waiting for you only 3 hours from Detroit. And thats the Hudson's Bay Queen Street store in Toronto. Theres a million sq feet of shopping waiting for you. And over the past couple years the store has been renovating itself to bring it back to the heydey when it was the only place to go shopping downtown. And I have to say they are doing a great job so far.

(Message edited by miketoronto on July 03, 2006)
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Krapug
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Posted From: 24.191.57.248
Posted on Sunday, July 09, 2006 - 5:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Great Photos!, for whatever reason, no one has ever posted interior shots of the building here from the times that the building was closed.
Considering how long the building sat idle, I thought it would have been in worse condition.

Just some notes to answer some questions that came up. In the 70's Hudson's did close a number of full floors (as selling space). The 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th floors were closed as "sales floors", the 12th floor continued to be used for auditorium events, and during the Christmas Season, Toytown, Santa Land, and the Fantasy Forest continued to operate. During the rest of the year, a small toy department was set up on the 4th floor. The escalators ran up to the 12th floor, but once the floors above 7 were closed off as public space, the escalators were
not open to the public above the 7th floor.
One advantage of having manual elevators right to the end was the operators would skip the closed floors, and the elevators were the only way for the public to reach the floors above 7.

In the pics you'll notice one of the elevator cars, these were "modernized" in the 60's, along with the Riverview Room, and "Entrance 1". The elevators contained a small fold away seat so the operators could sit were all or part of their shift. After the store closed, a few of the operators were kept on to serve the office workers who were there from '83 to '86.

Another floor that was "closed" in the 70's was the 13th "Restaurant" floor, but I believe that the Riverview Room was open to the public at least during the Christmas Season each year.
During the final years year round dining was on the mezzanine, the counters in the budget store, and the snack bar on the 4th floor.

Despite the cutbacks of the 70's, the last Hudson to run the company (the great nephew of JL) was determined to keep things going downtown. For most of the 70's, the only "runway" fashion shows were held in the auditorium, Hudson ensured that black workers had opportunities as department managers, and floor supervisors, and the downtown store became the first major department store to feature a black Santa, and a branch of the hair salon
"Black Hair Is". Many of these innovations were also tried by Bamberger's (nee Macy's) in downtown Newark.

However, despite all this and the promise that lay in the Cadilac Sqaure Mall, it was not just "white" folks that had concerns shopping downtown it was all middle income (and above) shoppers. The pedestrian mall was a flop, and the plan to enclose lower Woodward, went the way of Cadilac Square.

Frankly I don't know if anything could have been done at that time to get shoppers back downtown??

BUT, Hudson's did give it a good fight, and they held out longer than most thought they would. Even after the store closed they still kept the Woodward Avenue windows decorated in 83 and 84.

One of the most annoying things that I ever heard is some people who called the company "racist". Hudsons' was one of the first to break the color barrier and place Black Americans on the sales floor, and yes although many Blacks worked as Elevator Operators, Porters, Shipping Clerks and the like, when they retired, like all Hudson's workers they recieved pensions, and benefits. Yeah, a real racist company.

Ken
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Bob
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Username: Bob

Post Number: 1048
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Posted From: 205.188.116.137
Posted on Sunday, July 09, 2006 - 5:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does anyone have pictures of when they used the Downtown Hudson's building for a Christmas shopping outlet (not as a Hudson's store) during the early 90s? They even trucked in generators to operate the lights.
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Burnsie
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Post Number: 509
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Posted From: 35.12.23.98
Posted on Sunday, July 09, 2006 - 9:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bob-- There are a couple of photos of that 1992 event in the Arcadia book, if you haven't seen them already.
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Detroitteacher
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Post Number: 103
Registered: 06-2006
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Sunday, July 09, 2006 - 10:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Not to get too off topic, but it does relate to Hudson's. Each year my parents would take y sister and I down to Hudson's to see Santa...in the 70s. We ate at the Restaurant on the 13th floor. Before they closed for good, dad bought my sister and I each a silver teapot that they brought to our table from the manager. I still have that today. I also did the Santaland Christmas store where kids would get to go in and no adults were present. We had a certain amount of money to spend....and who to buy for marked on an envelope. The workers would assist us in picking just the right gift for the people on our list. I bought my grandmother a brown teapot with a wicker handle. She used that teapot until the handle almost gave out. Before she died, I asked her if I could have that teapot. Of course she said yes. I have my cherished memories from Hudson's Christmas forever. Too bad I didn't have the opportunity to take my son there as they had already done away with it all by the time he was born. It's something I still miss. After Hudson's we would drive all over the city and look at the homes decorated for the holidays. We went to ALL neighborhoods....it was a treat, to say the least. We need that back in the city...
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Neilr
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Username: Neilr

Post Number: 295
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 68.60.139.212
Posted on Sunday, July 09, 2006 - 10:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitteacher,

quote:

Too bad I didn't have the opportunity to take my son there...



But you do have the opportunity to take him skating in Campus Martius, encircle downtown on the People Mover, go every year to the Auto Show and so on. Those will become his memories of annual events with you, and as you have your's with your parents and grandparents, to be shared with his children. Life in Detroit is ongoing. :-)
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Detroitteacher
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Username: Detroitteacher

Post Number: 105
Registered: 06-2006
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Sunday, July 09, 2006 - 10:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oh jeez, we do all of that and then some! His fav is Autorama (he has a vintage t-bird). Just the Hudson's thing was SO special to me.....and as a youngin, I was just in AWE at the displays....kind of like Ralphie in A Christmas Story....LOL
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Jiminnm
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Username: Jiminnm

Post Number: 851
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 68.35.85.184
Posted on Sunday, July 09, 2006 - 11:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Livedog, I had to laugh at your comment about getting paid in cash. I worked at Sears from 1966-1968 and got paid the same way, money in an envelope (even the change) with deductions, etc. written on the preprinted front.
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Karl
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Username: Karl

Post Number: 3154
Registered: 09-2005
Posted From: 68.110.101.59
Posted on Monday, July 10, 2006 - 12:06 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

On another thread (Autoplants??) my "new Dad" recounted his years working as a very young lad at Hudson's 1940-42. He, by himself, sorted all the charge slips each day. Needless to say, in those days few folks had charge accounts, and during those years the most activity came from the Hudson family itself along with the "who's who" list of famous (wealthy) folks in and around Detroit. He never forgot the time his boss called him in after buying his mother an iron and scolded him, telling him that his employee discount was for him, and him alone. Bruised his feelings in those far more innocent days. He loved Hudsons and Detroit - his father moved the family to Detroit in 1912 from Ohio to work at Packard, saying that there was no better place in the world to live, work, and raise a family. And in those days, his dad was right.
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Bob
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Username: Bob

Post Number: 1049
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 64.12.116.204
Posted on Monday, July 10, 2006 - 4:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have seen them, I was just curious if anybody went or had their own pictures or stories of going to it.
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Livedog2
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Username: Livedog2

Post Number: 726
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 24.223.133.177
Posted on Thursday, July 20, 2006 - 7:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In happier days -- 1965!

hudson's

Livedog2
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Miketoronto
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Username: Miketoronto

Post Number: 212
Registered: 07-2004
Posted From: 65.92.154.128
Posted on Friday, July 21, 2006 - 9:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

All these stories about these old stores really hits home one point. Downtown was for everyone.

In today's world the new downtown being built is often for the wealthy and rich only. Not for the regular middle class families.

You did not have to be rich to shop or eat at Hudson's(of course they had their really high end stuff also). But today most stores opening are for the wealthy only.

Anyway I had to touch on that point. Because my mom and dad were talking about how when the lived in NYC, they use to go shopping for kids clothing in this warehouse district area of Manhattan were everything was sold at warehouse prices. And I can't help to think our cities have almost totally lost downtowns geared to all incomes.

I have a co-worker who grew up in Windsor. I asked her if she remembered Hudson's and her face just lighted up. She said it was an annual trip when she was a kid, to go into downtown Detroit to Hudson's.
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Mani
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Username: Mani

Post Number: 2
Registered: 07-2006
Posted From: 68.60.182.26
Posted on Saturday, July 22, 2006 - 1:53 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is no middle class in Detroit. Why are people from the suburbs so focused on urban decay? There is nothing cool about it. If you grew up in urban decay you would want to get so far away. The white wealthy rich use to run the city of Detroit (early century), it will never be this again. The pain and tradegy is too deep, and so are the race issues that most of the people from the suburbs absolutely can not relate too and never will! Once the artist and wealthy get bored with urban decay they will move on and new artist will move in. Nothing I say is original or has not been said before. However, if you watch over time you will see with your own eyes. I was raised in detroit, I have seen a lot. If you want to do something good focus on positive things and move forward.
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 465
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 65.185.132.134
Posted on Saturday, July 22, 2006 - 9:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mani-are you related to Danny?
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Mani
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Username: Mani

Post Number: 4
Registered: 07-2006
Posted From: 68.60.182.26
Posted on Saturday, July 22, 2006 - 9:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

who is danny? no i am not. why?
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Detroitteacher
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Username: Detroitteacher

Post Number: 223
Registered: 06-2006
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Sunday, July 23, 2006 - 2:08 am:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think sharing fond memories is not promoting urban decay! I know MANY folks from Detroit who are middle class. How do you figure that there is no middle class??
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Mani
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Username: Mani

Post Number: 15
Registered: 07-2006
Posted From: 68.60.182.26
Posted on Sunday, July 23, 2006 - 5:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

one third of he city lives in poverty. where is the middle class? i am not an expert if you can prove otherwise, please educate me?
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Mani
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Username: Mani

Post Number: 16
Registered: 07-2006
Posted From: 68.60.182.26
Posted on Sunday, July 23, 2006 - 5:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

it should say the city, not he.
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Nellonfury
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Username: Nellonfury

Post Number: 172
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 68.43.156.135
Posted on Sunday, July 23, 2006 - 5:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Has anyone heard any info about the plan about the Hudson's site lately?
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Detroitteacher
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Username: Detroitteacher

Post Number: 233
Registered: 06-2006
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Sunday, July 23, 2006 - 7:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Middle class...Rosedale Park, Warrendale (some parts), downtown, many other neighborhoods are considered middle class. About half of my students could be considered middle class (their families). Granted, with the layoffs and companies going under, the middle class is waning but it is still here.

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