Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Old Belle I sle Boat Club Previous Next
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Detroitstar
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Username: Detroitstar

Post Number: 585
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 10:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I did a search but I did not find anything relevant.

One of the most beautiful vacant structures in the city...

1.Who owns it?

2. With major events returning to Belle Isle, isn't there something....anything, that can be done to spruce the place up?

3. What dream do you have for the building?

(Message edited by DetroitSTAR on May 08, 2007)
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Andylinn
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Username: Andylinn

Post Number: 400
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 11:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i believe it is still in use for the rowing team. other than that, i think the place is falling apart.

semi-relevant. i noticed the other day that the "DYC" sign from the DYC was removed from the water-facing side of the building... what gives?
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Rb336
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Username: Rb336

Post Number: 40
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 11:27 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I know the DYC is going to do some major renovation work, perhaps that is part of preparing for that?
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Irvine_laird
Member
Username: Irvine_laird

Post Number: 38
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 2:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

All of this is just hearsay, but it's a curious story nonetheless: A Detroit Boat Club member told me last year that the City of Detroit--the building's owner--evicted the club for no real reason. On a Friday, a city official notified the club that it was to vacate the building by the following Monday or face penalties. The boat club complied, removing everything from the building in less than two days and turning in the keys by the City's deadline. To the club's surprise, the City said it "wasn't serious" about the eviction after all. Nevertheless, the city official was happy to keep the keys and the building has been vacant ever since. A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with another Detroit Boat Club member who told me that appearances aside, the interior is in very good shape.
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Irish_mafia
Member
Username: Irish_mafia

Post Number: 894
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 4:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As I understand it,

When the old 100 year lease ran out at a $1 per year or so, the city under Coleman thought that the DBC needed to pay more money and they wanted to put their own members into the club to make it more representative of the city population (i.e. Black). I believe that the Boat Club members, already strapped from membership loss and bad management decisions, felt that the $$ was too high and they were going to be damned if Young and the city were going to dictate who their members were (I believe DYC had more foresite and headed off the storm by broadening their racial mix before Coleman's team was at the door).

There was a view within the city govt. at that time that if the DBC members didn't want to pay up, then screw them, evict them and think of all the wonderful things that we can do with that building!

So, the DBC members stole off into the night to find a new home. Unfortunately for the DBC Crew (the rowing club that was the original entity that created the DBC and the oldest rowing organization in the world), that left them with a big hulk of a building to try to operate out of.

The city, as you would expect, came up with a million schemes and no implementation (basically what they did with the rest of the city).

The rowing club, having a vested interest has been working with the city to keep minimal maintenance taken care of but can not logically ask their members for a significant capital contribution without a long term arrangement with the city.

The city has been dangling a reasonably(?) priced 70 year lease for several years now (back to Archer's admin I believe), but every time that they are about to sign, someone proposes a new scheme to the council (the last I heard of included a cross-river development with the old Naval armory) and they get all giddy with dollar signs. So the lease does not get signed.

In the meantime, the rowing organization continues to grow as one of the great programs in the world and hopes for saving the beautiful building continue to worsen as it deteriorates.

Feel free to correct me if someone knows better than what I have stated.
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Carolcb
Member
Username: Carolcb

Post Number: 615
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 4:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So the interior has gotten worse - ? The pictures on this site from 2002 look good, I think - of the interior, certainly not a place inside that could not be repaired. It just makes me sick to see something like this fall apart.
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Irish_mafia
Member
Username: Irish_mafia

Post Number: 895
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 4:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It doesn't necessarily have to. My understanding is that there are people with money that would invest if the city would budge.

But then again, I have also heard that the structure has sunk so much now that it is unrecoverable.

I think the inside still looks good. They have turned the Ballroom into an erg. room and the old grill room into a weight room... gaining some function out of the facility.
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Harsensis
Member
Username: Harsensis

Post Number: 288
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 10:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is a small amount of water damage starting inside. Right now it is minor, but not for long.
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Alexei289
Member
Username: Alexei289

Post Number: 1281
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 10:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

...a new roof, your looking at 250-500k, new stucco.. perhapse 50-150k, new windows.. 100k.

All together, 400-750k worth of repairs.. JUST to make the building waterproof.

Too bad... my dad was a member for years.. I used to swim in the pool.
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Tkshreve
Member
Username: Tkshreve

Post Number: 93
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2007 - 12:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, my family was members for a long, long time. We discontinued our membership a few years before the eviction happened. My Father used to tell me stories of how nice the club was before i went through the system. It was quite "ritzy" from what i understand, But i can attest to the beauty of the club in regards to the building. Several floors with multiple rooms, balconies, bars, lounges, studies, dining rooms, large stair cases, solid oaks bannisters, etc. The interior design reminded me of something very old, almost what you see in shots from the movie Titanic. What a place to spend the summer and watch the Hydros. It is a terrible loss to the city, and probably even a greater loss to the person or people who attempt to rejuvenate the club. Good Luck to the rowers and thanks for your persistence.

Interesting notes about the development of the eviction and also how it is sinking into the lake. I have never heard those comments before. If you have any links or articles that support those comments I would be very interested in reading them.
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Irish_mafia
Member
Username: Irish_mafia

Post Number: 896
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2007 - 10:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

TK,

There are probably old newspaper articles from the era when the DBC folks were booted by Coleman's gang.

The other info is information that I have heard from people in the rowing program and in the boating community and may not even be appropriate for public consumption if they are still attempting to negotiate a lease.

Others on this board may be more closely involved (and may not want to address the issues here). I don't know.

I can say that more than one person involved has suggested moving the very healthy rowing program to a new club facility based on the lack of action by the city and the continuing degradation of the building. That, it would seem would be the death knell for the building.

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