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And where is the city going to get money to buy the building, demolish it, and then build a park? The city is broke! Not to mention that Grand Circus Park would look even worse than it will once the Statler is reduced to a pile of rubble. The building's owner wants to hold onto the building, although I'm sure he'd sell it for an exhorberant price.

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This isn't Sim City. Parks just don't make land values in Detroit skyrocket. Heck, look at all the abandoned buildings lining the park! Broderick, Whitney, Statler, Park Avenue, Madison Theater & Fine Arts, not to mention the empty lots (Tuller, next to Kales, & former Oriental Theater). Come to think of it, once the Statler is gone, we will have a new park...a place to park your car for $15 when you go to a Tigers game!

As for the Park Avenue Building, the owner has turned down an offer of $4 Million to sell the building. He plans to make improvements on his two properties (Charlevoix & Park Avenue Building) once someone forces him to. It's too bad the city can't force him to do something, even if it's something as simple as making sure all the windows & doors are secured, or at least properly boarded up.

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Friday, April 15, 2005

Beneath this cover lies the original point of origin for the city. It is a stone marker which was discovered during excavation for Campus Martius Park. The marker is best seen during the day, since the stone underneath is next to impossible to see at night.


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Well, there is a meat market, furniture outlet, and a storage business in the plant. But other than that, it is just decaying. I did not see a for sale sign on it today, so maybe it has been sold. It would be perfect for lofts, but I haven't heard anything about its redevelopment in a while. In any case, if it is going to be renovated, it needs to be renovated soon. It is not in very good condition.

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Because it is owned by a slumlord.  We live in a country with a capitalist economy, so there's not much you can do about it.  Chances are nothing will happen with the place until land values in the area rise more.


There is a lot that can be done. City ordinances. Land owners in many cities (including Detroit) are required by law to maintain minimum standards of presentability. I think some cities even have specific laws requiring that buildings be occupied to a certain degree. Places like Grosse Pointe have neighborhoods with especially strict rules about how your property can look, from the type of brick and style of fences/gates to the length of your grass and the types of lawn ornaments you can have.

In Detroit there are requirements that the land owner keep the yard, sidewalk, and street free of trash and debris. Weeds on the property above a foot tall are also a no no. There are also regulations about abandoned vehicles, alley maintenance, etc. Residents could lobby the city to increase enforcement of these laws, or raise the standards entirely. In fact, there are plans to at least increase enforcement for the Super Bowl, so we may see some improvements from that within the next year.

With the proper regulations, the city can leverage capitalism to have buildings used in ways beneficial to the city. If it costs more to maintain an abandoned building than to rennovate or sell the thing, "investors" won't leave them like they are now.

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Haha, you're right. That didn't even occur to me until you pointed it out. I didn't have much choice of photos, since I haven't had much time to go out and shoot new ones lately. I generally try to make sure the photo of the day is no more than a week old from the time it is taken until the time it is posted. I have a feeling that some of the next photos will be a couple weeks old though, because it's time for final projects and exams...that time of the semester when all the crazy architecture majors like me get to stay up for an entire week with little to no sleep.

By the end of this week I have to do six renderings, work on my presentation board, draw an interior perspective drawing, write a five page paper, write a 20 page long project report, build my sculpture/final design project in the wood shop, read Candide, study for my calculus exam, and give a 15 minute oral presentation. Somewhere in there I have to start packing my things up so that I can return home for the summer. LOL. Ok, back to working on my 20 page report. Only 8 more pages....

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I had heard that someone was had a plan to turn Fisher 21 into an Internet data farm. Has anything come of this, are they doing anything to the building? Or was it just another rumor?


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Looking east down Piquette Avenue, towards Fisher Body 21. On the left is the Studebaker Plant.

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