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Work in nearing completion on the Art Deco-styled Salvation Army Building on Bagley across from DTE HQ in downtown Detroit. A conversation with Scott Simons of DTE Public Relations revealed that the restoration / renovation will be completed around the end of December.

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  1. #1

    Default Last Call for Cass Tech High School

    The famous Cass Tech High School building, where many of Detroit's luminaries received their education, is in its final days. Let's circle the site of "The Harvard of the Detroit Public Schools" for a final good-bye.


    Headed for the landfill, a demolition dump truck carts off a portion of the famed structure.


    Demolition, which has proceeded from the Grand River rear side is nearing completion.


    Viewed from across the I-375, the new Cass Tech can now be seen in the background.

    The New Cass Tech, which stands immediately north of the old site, is in a troubled but rebounding area just north of the downtown Detroit district.




    The view from the empty parking lot across 2nd Avenue -- a lot that was packed in the below 2001 view from Woodward Avenue.





    Gone is its iconic carved limestone portal.





    Construction of the new Cass Tech High School in 2003 set in motion the forces that eventually led to the demolition of the old school.


    Once the new school was completed the old school was sealed and intact [as seen in this pieced-together panorama from Jan. 22, 2006] with opportunities to translate its renowned history and attributes into new uses. Proposals to convert it into condominiums and apartments were floated but nothing substantial ever emerged. Click Here for a larger viewer or click here for a very large view.


    Lack of security lead to the property to be vandalized and looted. By 2009 the property was a blighted eyesore, leading to calls for its demolition.





    A misting cannon waters the remains of old Cass Tech High School overlooked by the new Cass Tech.


    Pictures? Memories? Let 'em rip and share them here.

  2. #2
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    I drove by there twice today and I would say that 1/2 of what was left when your picture was taken has been demolished.

    By the rate they have been going these past few days, I say by tomorrow it will be a pile of rubble and completely down.

    Just sad to see another beautifull building gone from the city scape.

  3. #3
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    Lowell,

    I love you man. But mobilizing people to form any kind of human chain around Cass Tech should have been done months ago. I would have done it with you then.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaiko View Post
    Lowell,

    I love you man. But mobilizing people to form any kind of human chain around Cass Tech should have been done months ago. I would have done it with you then.
    I never had any interest nor made any comment about mobilizing a human chain or people past or present. I am just documenting reality and gathering memories.

    Would I liked to have seen the building saved, restored, re-purposed and placed on the tax rolls? Certainly. But there was no serious effort nor funding to make it happen. Now it's gone but its memories aren't.

  5. #5
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    What's the current status of the CT football field?

    I recall that CT wasn't able to play home games on the new field for a period because there were safety concerns raised due to the parcel not being large enough to allow for a sufficient buffer between the field and the fence.

    I also recall there being discussion that a larger field might eventually be built on the site of the old building once it's demolished.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowell View Post
    I never had any interest nor made any comment about mobilizing a human chain or people past or present.
    When you said "let's circle the site...for a final goodbye" (original post), you meant figuratively through photos but Zaiko must have thought you meant that literally.

  7. #7
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    what will be done with all the bricks and non-hazardous materials? donate to recycle?

  8. #8
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    You can see how some of us are still feeling about this issues. I wasn't around for Hudson's in '98. It must have been worse.

    http://www.michigannow.org/2011/06/1...-of-cass-tech/

  9. #9
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    Boy, they sure love to tear down buildings in this town. Great development plan...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Downtown Lady View Post
    When you said "let's circle the site...for a final goodbye" (original post), you meant figuratively through photos but Zaiko must have thought you meant that literally.
    Make's sense. I tend to write in 'you're sitting next to me' style as I am circling the demolition site taking pictures but I could see where the confusion might arise, now that you mention it.

  11. #11
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    My grandmother just called the office. She said she wished my grandfather (Jan. '33) had lived to see this. Well, not to be disrespectful to an octogenarian, but I vehemently disagreed. I am so glad my grandfather never lived to see so much tangible evidence of his Detroit disappear. God knows he saw enough of it during his lifetime.

    Look, folks. Until you get people with vision in the driver's seat of the CAY building, this *will* continue. Now imagine if someone had demolished Broderick Tower or the Whitney just because they were "empty eyesores." Sigh... so sad.

  12. #12
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    Hard to believe they would tear a building like that down. Only in Detroit I guess.

  13. #13
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    Thank you Lowell for the great pictures!

  14. #14
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    There will be a gathering of alumni at what remains of the building today at 1PM.

  15. #15
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    These are from last night, 7/29. Not much left...

    http://smu.gs/qnwpTS



    class of '71
    Last edited by ptero; July-30-11 at 01:22 PM.

  16. #16
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    Drove by there late last night on the way to the Casino and when I went to the Tigers game.

    They are down to the last 2 sets of windows. I think any minute they are going to pull the rest of the building down, but they might need a special permit to close off the street.

  17. #17
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    Claud...those last sets of windows left are the very rooms I taught in. In a day they will be simply memories.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by English View Post
    ...Look, folks. Until you get people with vision in the driver's seat of the CAY building, this *will* continue. Now imagine if someone had demolished Broderick Tower or the Whitney just because they were "empty eyesores." Sigh... so sad.
    Cass Tech is a great illustration of the expression, "when you point the finger at someone, four fingers are pointing back at you."

    Cass Tech has thousands and thousands of living graduates. They saw this go onto DPS's bond issue, they saw the new building rising (and must have known the old one was going to become a nonperforming asset on DPS's books), they became aware of the demolition plans, and not one - not even ones who live in Hollywood - came up with a single, concrete plan, much less one with funding. Instead, what we got was cries about how no one has any vision. It's ironic, it's sad, and it led to a predictable result.

    This isn't about vision (and almost never is when things get torn down). It's always about what you get for your money in keeping a building like this. The architecture was old (but fairly drab and forgettable, even for its era). And like most schools of its era, the building was dark, depressing, inflexible, and energy inefficient. Even if New Cass Tech is expensive, buggy and architecturally bland, it may well have been that someone crunched the numbers and figured out that even if you tore it down and rebuilt it again in 30 years, it would be cheaper than locking into 50-60 more years with the old one. Who knows what major maintenance DPS deferred - and deferred - and deferred. There may have been some educational consideratons in changing classroom layouts, etc., but I'd bet the real reason why old Cass Tech was replaced was the cost of running it (or bringing it up to modern standards). And many of those costs would have been continued in a private redevelopment.

  19. #19
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    Yeah, they love to tear down buildings, but the abandoned houses - open with every window out and the front door wide open? No they stay up forever, they catch fire, are havens for drugs, and even murders occur in them. Still they stand!
    Quote Originally Posted by Detroitnerd View Post
    Boy, they sure love to tear down buildings in this town. Great development plan...
    Last edited by Zacha341; August-01-11 at 07:20 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huggybear View Post
    Cass Tech is a great illustration of the expression, "when you point the finger at someone, four fingers are pointing back at you."

    Cass Tech has thousands and thousands of living graduates. They saw this go onto DPS's bond issue, they saw the new building rising (and must have known the old one was going to become a nonperforming asset on DPS's books), they became aware of the demolition plans, and not one - not even ones who live in Hollywood - came up with a single, concrete plan, much less one with funding. Instead, what we got was cries about how no one has any vision. It's ironic, it's sad, and it led to a predictable result.
    It's also a great metaphor for Detroit as a whole.

  21. #21
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    Nice shots Lowell....Since I cannot post pictures on DetroitYes (I get an "undefined" message everytime I try) here is the link mine: http://detroitbob66.tumblr.com/

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by artds View Post
    What's the current status of the CT football field?

    I recall that CT wasn't able to play home games on the new field for a period because there were safety concerns raised due to the parcel not being large enough to allow for a sufficient buffer between the field and the fence.

    I also recall there being discussion that a larger field might eventually be built on the site of the old building once it's demolished.
    Somebody also told me that they also measured it out and it's actually only 95 yards in length. I did hear that the sidelines were too close to the cyclone fencing and it wasn't safe if there was a play that ran towards the sidelines.

    I think the football field was just another fat cash gift from Kwame to his buddy Bobby Ferguson to build.

  23. #23
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    My dad had to quit school to support his mom & sisters, he would've been class of '31. I still have his drafting set, t-square & school books from his 2 yrs. at CT.

    I surely thought things would've gotten better in my lifetime. Never dreamed they could get worse.

  24. #24
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    Still standing as of a few hours ago.

    If I just had a few million dollars, I would run for Mayor and put and end to all this crap. Im tired of seeing historic building after historic building meet its day with the wrecking ball.

  25. #25
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    I'm sorry to see the old building go . I went to Cass Tech daily for 4 years dropping my daughter off for school , it was a pain in the ass driving down from the east side every day but worth it . Its not easy to get into Cass Tech and if your lucky enough to get in , doesn't guarantee you'll finish school there because a student must maintain a certain GPA or risk getting sent back to the local H.S. ( and it does happen) To get in you must have the grades of course in Middle School , have your counselor recommend you , interview at Cass Tech . Once admitted you must dress appropiately or be sent home . I had to pick my daughter up because of that a few times in the 4 years she attended Cass Tech because of that even though she looked ok to me . My daughter is very upset her old school is being razed , but glad she had the opportunity to attend Cass Tech . I remember back when she attended Cass Tech (mid to late 90's) mentioning how bad of shape the building was inside . Why did the city let it get so much in disrepair ? It is the crown jewel of the DPS . My daughter did get an academic schlorship at Eastern and earned a Bachelor's and a Masters Degree

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