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Shorpy Saturday – Snow Globe: 1902

By Jeffrey Buck

The cold weather has arrived and Michigan will soon see its first substantial snow fall. As the temperature continues to drop in Detroit there is still plenty of hot new development going on downtown. Grand Circus Park, seen below in 1902, is witnessing a rebirth of its many surrounding buildings as work continues at the Whitney Building.  Once completed it will join the Madison Theatre and Broderick Tower, along with several other buildings, in the growing downtown area.

Take a look at the photograph entitled “Snow Globe: 1902“:

Snow Globe - 1902

Detroit circa 1902. “Winter study, Grand Circus Park.” 8×10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company.

Image | Source

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Shorpy Saturday – When Hustle Met Bustle: 1919

By Jeffrey Buck

Grand Circus Park continues to make its comeback with several new additions over the years including restaurants, shops and office space. As the Broderick Tower nears completion (the tower is not seen yet in this photo) and gets ready to welcome its new residents we turn our focus to one of the final looming towers on the Park (The United  Artists Theatre is waiting its rebirth patiently). The David Whitney Building, slated for redevelopment into a mix use building consisting of a boutique hotel, apartments and retail, was a much more dignified building back in Detroit in the 1920s. A renovation stripped its exterior of many of its most visually pleasing elements (although I suppose that can be debated) and left to look very simple. The new owners of the building have vowed in a recent article to transform the gem back to its former glory as they light up Woodward with another project bringing more people downtown.

Take a look at the photograph entitled “When Hustle Met Bustle: 1919.”

Detroit circa 1919. “View of Woodward Avenue and Washington Boulevard; Whitney Building and Grand Circus Park.” Also one of the “Winged Victory” statues seen earlier here. 8×10 inch glass negative. 

Image | Source

For your viewing pleasure see below what the building looks like today:

Image | Source

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Shorpy Saturday – Please-Freeze: 1917

By Jeffrey Buck

It’s hard to say but due to the snow we saw this past week, Winter is near. It sort of has me fearing how cold it may get in the next few weeks so in honor of that fear I give you a shot of what I’m feeling inside. Please don’t get to cold to fast.

Take a look at the photograph entitled “Please-Freeze: 1917“:

Detroit circa 1917. “Ice fountain, Washington Boulevard.” The big icicle with a small request, discreetly stated on that unobtrusive little sign near the man: PLEASE. The rest of the message is up to your imagination.

Source: http://www.shorpy.com/node/11452

SPACE

Below is a photo of the Old Cadillac Hotel (The Westin Book Cadillac replaced it in 1924) in 1915. The Edison Headquarters Building can be seen to the left of it. This makes me believe that this is near the corner of State Street and Washington Avenue:

Here is a photo of the area where the fountain may have stood today:

SPACECE

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David Broderick Tower Preview Photos

Woodward Spine © 2011

By Jeffrey Buck

I attended the Broderick Tower Open House this afternoon. The building is not finished yet but visitors were allowed to travel to several floors to see views, layouts and the current progress on the building. I have uploaded numerous pictures to our Broderick Tower Facebook photo album. The album can be viewed by following the link below:

David Broderick Tower Photo Gallery

I should have more information this week. The event as of three o’clock had over 500 visitors and several deposits were being put down on numerous units.

SPACE

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Shorpy Saturday – Desert Hero: 1919

By Jeffrey Buck

In honor of the event being held today at the David Broderick Tower, which we will be attending and posting pictures of afterwards, I thought it would be fitting to take a glance at what its predecessor was. As we celebrate the future of a building that’s been neglected for years let’s take a trip back in time seven years before construction started on the Tower. In the photogrpah there are certain things that I feel important to point out:

  1. David Whitney Building (located on the west side of Woodward) has not been stripped of any of its features. It was constructed between 1914 and 1915 in a Neo-Renaissance style of architecture. The building, as it stands today, bares almost no resemblance to the building we see in the photograph. It’s simple, plain and in mu opinion hideous above the initial few floors. Fortunately the inside of the building hasn’t been “modernized” and the new owners of the property have talked about restoring the building back to its original facade. Plans call for residential and a boutique hotel.
  2. The now demolished Hudson’s Building can be seen down the Woodward corridor. It is still in its beginning stages and wouldn’t be completely finished until 1946. Several additions would be added over the years.
  3. The Madison Theatre, now owned by billionaire Dan Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans, is no longer a theatre. That portion of the building was demolished. The office portion of the building has recently been renovated and will house tech start-ups. It is also home to an Italian restaurant, Angelina Italian Bistro, and a StubHub satellite office.
  4. Our beloved People Mover is still years and years away from making its debut. Until then people had to ride on streetcars! An idea we are finally going back to, it’s about time.
  5. Like the People Mover, major downtown attractions and buildings not present are The Ren Cen, Compuware Building, The Detroit Opera House (Current Location), One Detroit Center and the original Greektown Casino parking garage. Continue reading

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Broderick Tower apartment prices released

By Jeffrey Buck

If you haven’t driven downtown lately, more specifically on Woodward at Grand Circus Park, then you may have missed the new windows being installed in the Broderick Tower. Have no fear though because they haven’t completely finished yet. What they have finished though is the price list for the units that will become available in 2012.

The Woodward Spine © 2011

The unit sizes and prices vary from around 300+ sq. ft. for a studio up to over 2,200+ sq. ft. for a penthouse in the sky. Units will range in cost for residents from $650 a month up to $5,100 a month. A extensive list of what is available and information on how to put down a deposit can be found here. Continue reading

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Rumors swirl as developers eye Detroit

By Mike Fossano

Back in January, we noted that new blood was being pumped through downtown Detroit. Over six months later, and a tangible change is beginning to take place throughout the city and real estate developers are pining to a chance to leave their mark on an area that is ripe with iconic buildings at relatively cheap prices. Both Midtown and downtown residential properties are enjoying a jolt of fresh demand, more companies are opting to relocate to the city center, and for the first time in many years investors are doubling-down on the city’s progress.

WDIV recently reported that the glitzy W Hotel is eying the David Whitney Building in Grand Circus Park as its’ potential gateway into the Detroit market. An official from The Roxbury Group confirmed to the Woodward Spine that there has been interest from several parties, but declined to give names at this time. This, along with the ongoing renovations within the neighboring Broderick Tower offers a potentially bright future for an area that already counts Comerica Park, Ford Field, the Fox Theatre and Music Hall among nearby landmarks.

The lobby of the David Whitney Building

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