Tag Archives: architecture

Shorpy Saturday – YWCA: 1906

By Jeffrey Buck

Enjoy the cars down Woodward today and a little historic architecture through a dazzling photo.

Take a look at the photograph entitled “YWCA: 1906“:

YWCA - 1906

 

Circa 1906. “Y.W.C.A. building, Detroit.” Once again the interesting stuff is at the periphery — note signage at right advertising Cracker Jack and the services of a “bell hanger.” 8×10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co.

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Shorpy Saturday – Union Trust: 1906

By Jeffrey Buck

I want to first apologize for the long hiatus; It’s been a busy few weeks. There has been a lot of buzz lately with all of the renovations and new construction going on in Downtown and Midtown. The announcement of the new hockey arena probably being the biggest. Work continues on the David Whitney Building and Woodward is shut down in several spots for the M-1 Rail. It’s an exciting time for the city and the region.

Take a look at the photograph entitled “Union Trust: 1906“:

Union Trust - 1906

 

 

1906. “Union Trust Building, Detroit.” Romanesque Revival wedding cake at Griswold and Congress that went up in 1896, came down in 1956.

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Shorpy Saturday – Central Savings: 1905

By Jeffrey Buck

If you have ever taken a drive down some of the busiest streets in the “D” then you must have noticed by now that the buildings that once housed banks have taken on a new life.  I’ve seen things from pawn shops to Chinese take-outs to night clubs. The Central Savings Bank is somewhere along Grand River, it may have been demolished or it may still be standing. What’s you favorite re-purpose of an old bank?

Take a look at the photograph entitled “Central Savings: 1905“:

Central Savings - 1905

 

Detroit circa 1905. “Central Savings Bank, Grand River Avenue branch.” 8×10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company.

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Be a Part of the Preservation of the Alger Theatre

Alger Theatre

By Jeffrey Buck

Detroit is one of the greatest cities in the world. Many may not believe that statement because of the hardships it has endured these past decades but those same people often have never visited Detroit. It’s not a major tourist destination; we don’t draw out-of-towners like Los Angeles, New York or even Orlando. The city however has strong roots and although the population has plummeted the residents of the tri-county area and all over the state continue to support and preserve the rich history of a city that has changed the world more than once.

Support and generosity is not hard to find when it comes to funding and preserving the institutions, buildings and activities we all here in the Detroit area love. Time and time again we have come together to help support the Detroit Zoo, The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Michigan Science Center, just to name a few. We love our heritage; especially the vast amount of architectural gems not only in Detroit but spread across the region. Saving these historic structures has become more of a priority and the mentality of the past to wipe away these beautiful buildings is often bulked at by the majority of the community.

We are still losing some of these masterpieces to the wrecking ball but groups like Preservation Detroit are leading the charge to slow that number down. Another group of dedicated crusaders have been on a mission to help save and preserve a gorgeous theatre built in 1935. The Friends of the Alger Theatre purchased the building in 1986 and have made it their mission to restore the theatre to its former glory. The group is currently in the process of raising $5,000 to help put on a new roof and keep out the elements of mother nature. They are asking the community for their help and generosity to save a Detroit jewel and to be a part of the rebirth of the Alger Theatre. The theatre along with the Redford Theatre are the last remaining intact neighborhood theaters in Detroit.

Through the website indiegogo.com they are not only saying thanks but offering perks for certain donation levels. These perks range from a collector Alger Theatre ticket to a poster of the first film shown at the theater to an original Alger Theatre chair. Be a part of the history and future of the Alger Theatre by clicking here to donate.

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Shorpy Saturday – Union Trust: 1906

By Jeffrey Buck

They come and they go. Buildings in Detroit are always vulnerable to the wrecking ball.

Take a look at the photograph entitled “Union Trust: 1906“:

Union Trust - 1906

1906. “Union Trust Building, Detroit.” Romanesque Revival wedding cake at Griswold and Congress that went up in 1896, came down in 1956.

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Neumann/Smith Architecture headed downtown

Neumann Smith Architecture

By Jeffrey Buck

The historic Wright Kay Building, located at 1500 Woodward Avenue, is filling up its entire third floor. The architect behind many of downtown Detroit’s most recent renovation projects, including the M@dison Building, the First National Building, One Woodward Avenue Office Tower and Chrysler House, is moving its headquarters to Detroit. Neumann/Smith Architecture, one of Michigan’s most distinguished design firms specializing in architecture and interior design, has announced it will open its new space by June of this year.

“We are excited about opening up a studio space downtown where we can be closer to our clients and the incredible revitalization taking place,” said Joel Smith, AIA, Neumann/Smith partner. “The new Detroit office will provide an opportunity for more face-to-face meetings, foster a closer client experience, and increase our involvement in the community.”

Neumann/Smith, currently headquartered in Southfield, is following in the footsteps of its latest client, Campbell Ewald. They will be designing their new headquarters in the former J.L. Hudson Co. warehouse attached to Ford Field.

“As a creative company, nothing is more inspiring than to work in a city like Detroit, with its rich history of architectural design,” said Firm Principal and Historic Preservation Design Leader, J. Michael Kirk, AIA.  “Our employees are looking forward to the opportunity to work in a downtown urban core.”

The Wright Kay Building was bought by Dan Gilbert’s Rock Ventures in December of 2011. Bedrock Real Estate Services, the real estate arm of Rock Ventures, brokered the lease.

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The Historic GAR

Grand Army of the Republic Building | Woodward Spine

Grand Army of the Republic Building | Woodward Spine

By Jeffrey Buck

This past Saturday, with the sun shinning , I took a trip down to see the progress of the GAR building up close. It was an overwhelming feeling to see such a gem being brought back to life. I strolled around it several times taking photographs to share. It will be a grand day when they are finished and once again the doors are open to this beautiful historic structure.

For more pictures of the Grand Army of the Republic Building and other Detroit landmarks be sure to visit our Facebook Page.

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