Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 The Hotel Ste. Claire Previous Next
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 571
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 6:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Hotel Ste. Claire was built at Randolph and Monroe in 1879 by the Brush estate on a site owned by the Brush family since 1806. The hotel closed Nov. 15, 1933, and was torn down the following year.
It was a swanky showplace for years and a meeting place for politicians. Its bar was said to be nationally famous and the meeting place of the gallants of the 1890s. At the time that it was built, it was described as being a structure of rare beauty.
If you take a look at the picture here, you will see just how beautiful this rare beauty was.

Photo:
http://i152.photobucket.com/al bums/s164/rhymeswithrawk/Histo ric%20Detroit%20hotels/steclai re.jpg
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 573
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 6:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just found two postcard pictures of it, too. Looks like it was on the northwest corner of Randolph and Monroe, maybe?

http://www.rootsweb.com/~miway ne/hotelstc.jpg

http://i1.ebayimg.com/02/i/000/83/f3/c56f_1.JPG

(Message edited by rhymeswithrawk on March 28, 2007)
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 1503
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 6:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Northeast corner. There's a vacant lot there now (surface parking). In the photos, you can see the Odd Fellows Hall building next to the hotel. The Odd Fellows building is still there, but the upper floor was altered to remove the mansard roof. The photo-link in Rhymeswithrawk's post shows the block on the east side of Randolph between Monroe and Macomb; those buildings are all still there except for the hotel.
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 575
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 6:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'll be damned, Fury! You're right! I guess I didn't look close enough. Good eye.
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Rsa
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Username: Rsa

Post Number: 1073
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 10:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

anybody know why it was torn down? has that location been a surface lot since 1934? such a shame. thanx for the pic rawk.

makes me think about how detroiters have always been quick to destroy that which is not fashionable (especially for surface parking). in fourty years are people going to lament that there's no brutalist structures left? or in fifteen are we really going to kick ourselves for getting rid of all the modernist structures we're tearing down right now? [keep in mind that if they are being replaced, they are being replaced with buildings mimicking those that were torn down originally, yet with half the quality and lifespan.] not trying to troll or really looking for an argument, just thought i'd post a reflection...
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 581
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 10:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

or in fifteen are we really going to kick ourselves for getting rid of all the modernist structures we're tearing down right now?

Comerica Tower will be there in 15 years, just not with Comerica inside it. And are we really tearing down that many modernist buildings? The McNamara is slated to go, but you won't find anyone lobbying to save it. I can't think of many others.
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Crew
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Username: Crew

Post Number: 1164
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 11:27 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You all seem so cavalier about tearing down Ford Aud. Someday your grandkids will see pictures of it and shake their heads.
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Irish_mafia
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Username: Irish_mafia

Post Number: 839
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 11:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Crew,

Why would that be?

Because they will have missed the unique and thoughtful architecture or because they will not have had the opportunity to experience the precise acoustics of the facility?
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 1507
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 1:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

anybody know why it was torn down? has that location been a surface lot since 1934? such a shame... makes me think about how detroiters have always been quick to destroy that which is not fashionable...

Well, it was 1933, 1934. It was the depths of the Great Depression. It was hard to keep a business going, hard to afford maintenance... and many, many buildings were torn down in the '30s throughout the United States simply because owners couldn't afford to pay the taxes.

We can't conceive today just how difficult times were then.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3964
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 1:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A very sad loss for Detroit. That 8 story late German Renaissance building was beautiful, especially the gables and roof line. What a pity.

And who said the McNamara Building was being torn down? That building is only about 30 years old. Are you sure??
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Detroitbill
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Username: Detroitbill

Post Number: 192
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 2:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am not positive but I thought it was the old FBI building on the other side of the freeway , not the McNamara Building to make way for a new facility,, but I am not sure
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E_hemingway
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Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 1122
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 2:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's the old black skyscraper in Corktown overlooking the Lodge they're getting rid of to build a new FBI/federal "campus."
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3969
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 2:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gotcha, that's the former Michigan Executive Plaza (or something like that). The state of Michigan moved all their offices to Cadillac Center (former GM HQ), and that vacant complex will come down for the FBI campus.
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Urbanize
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Username: Urbanize

Post Number: 466
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 7:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

bumping some threads that are underdiscussed.
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 753
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 9:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

On March 28th, I posted a 1917 photo on the Ferry Seed Building thread that includes the Hotel Ste. Claire. Click on the link for the enlarged image to see it more clearly.
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 588
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 31, 2007 - 5:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Took a photo today of the parking lot where this building once stood. I'll post tomorrow. It's given me an idea for a project...
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Warrenite84
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Username: Warrenite84

Post Number: 66
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 31, 2007 - 12:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There are a couple of pics of that building in the WSU Archives. One from the Barlum Tower, one from the old city hall.( having problems uploading pics, will try later).
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Milwaukee
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Username: Milwaukee

Post Number: 1110
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 31, 2007 - 4:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What a great little building. You can find many like it in Milwaukee. I love the gable top of the building. It reminds me a lot of our city hall. I believe that hotel is of German or Flemish style. Still, a very cool old building.

I'm guessing a lot more buildings in Detroit, ones that are still standing used to have that kind of roof. It happened quite often during the 50's and 60's that those extravagant rooves were flattened or "modernized".
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Warrenite84
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Username: Warrenite84

Post Number: 68
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 31, 2007 - 4:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


Barlum Tower view


old City Hall view


old Detroit


taken from WSU Virtual Motor City
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Warrenite84
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Username: Warrenite84

Post Number: 69
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 31, 2007 - 4:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The building is kind of in the background in these but you can see it in it's surroundings. It's a great view from the building up Broadway and Monroe.
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Milwaukee
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Username: Milwaukee

Post Number: 1113
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 31, 2007 - 4:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Great photos. I love that site.
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 608
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 3:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's a photo of the site of the Hotel Ste. Claire today. It stood just south of the Odd Fellows temple in this photo (to the right).

Warning: Not work appropriate if the sight of parking lots turns you on:

http://i152.photobucket.com/al bums/s164/rhymeswithrawk/Histo ric%20Detroit%20hotels/steclai retoday.jpg
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Eastsidedame
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Username: Eastsidedame

Post Number: 48
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 10:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Ford Auditorium is an exceptional example of mid-20th Century modern civic architecture. It's lines, form and overall composition are very pleasing. Yeah, the acoustics are awful but it doesn't have to be used for music.

As for the McNamara Building: "brutalist" architectural style, primarily constructed of concrete and a monotonous facade. Sort of looks like an ivory tower, which is ironic for a Federal building. http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/b u/?id=118510

Hard to believe these same architects designed the Guardian Building 47 years before. I don't much care for the new guys.

Compared to the second-empire romance of the Hotel Ste. Clare, the McNamara seems oppressive and cold. I won't be sorry to see it go.
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Urbanize
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Username: Urbanize

Post Number: 648
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, April 06, 2007 - 12:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

bump
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 640
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 2:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does anyone have any mementos from the Ste. Claire? Doorknobs? Postcards? China? I've scoured all the salvage shops and antique shops in town and have come up empty. I'm rather obsessed with this hotel these days.

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