Condos rise above the Griswold parking structure located behind the Cadillac Hotel in Detroit
CAPITOL PARK'S DAY IN THE SUN

10 FUN THINGS TO DO IN DETROIT »



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  1. #26

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    Haha half of downtown is torn up right now for various utility work and street improvements anyway but I agree and hope to see it much greener when put back together again!

  2. #27

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    Does anyone have pictures of the park from early to mid 2000s prior to the most recent renovation?

  3. #28

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    It is absolutely amazing and wonderful what is going in Capitol Park. Several projects are in progress simultaneously and the whole place is buzzing with activity. Here's a little taste from yesterday.

    The gateway to the triangular-shaped Capitol Park, whose trees can be seen to the right, is to the park's south, at Michigan Avenue. Long-in-coming condos sprout atop the Griswold parking structure and near completion. It sets the tone for the flurry of activity below. Behind it, the kick off renovation for this area, the grand Cadillac Hotel, gleams in the midday sun. It opened in 2008 after decades of abandonment with total interior ruin.



    Action at the north end. A micro apartment building is being tinker-toyed together. It will be 13 stories high and is being created to accommodate lower income techies for nearby Quicken Loans. To the right, on Grand River, the Kresge Building has a dump chute indicating work. Beyond it is seen the orange corner of the soon-to-be-converted Shinola boutique hotel. Across the street to the right reno continues on a building whose name I don't know. It is interesting to note that all buildings in the background were vacant and decaying in recent decades. All have been or are being revived, most stunningly the furthest back skyscrapers of the Whitney Building and the Broderick Tower.



    Work is proceeding on the magnificent Stott Building, although it appears to be largely exterior work at this time. This is one of the crown jewels of Detroit architecture that received severe damage while it was being held for speculation.



    Construction stages likewise adorn the Farwell Building on its front and side.



    Stevens Mason, Michigan's first guv and who is interned in the park, has been there through all the changes. How good he must feel to see his resting place change from a derelict bus transfer point surrounded by decaying buildings to its new magnificence. Behind him rises the glistening newly renovated The Albert apartments, named after its architect Albert Kahn. I notice that Sy Thai, the successful Thai restaurant in the Auburn Building at Cass and Alexandrine, is another 'coming soon' in the Albert.



    I'm befuddled as to why the park grounds are being torn up and what it will become in its new form. Maybe there is discussion on this that I am missing? The park has not been redone that long ago. It didn't look that bad. It did have a bit of a 'keep moving' feel to it as seen in the anti-bum napping bench in the Farwell pic above.

  4. #29

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    Easily my favorite spot downtown. I love modern architecture but for the life of me I can't figure out what they were trying to accomplish with the Griswold. It's pretty brutal.

  5. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by southen View Post
    Easily my favorite spot downtown. I love modern architecture but for the life of me I can't figure out what they were trying to accomplish with the Griswold. It's pretty brutal.
    Plus it surrenders it's most dramatic vista point to a stair well! The acute corner that looks into the heart of Campus Martius. What were they thinking?

  6. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowell View Post
    Plus it surrenders it's most dramatic vista point to a stair well! The acute corner that looks into the heart of Campus Martius. What were they thinking?
    So disappointed in the Griswold. It looks likes something that would've been built 50 years ago

  7. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowell View Post
    Plus it surrenders it's most dramatic vista point to a stair well! The acute corner that looks into the heart of Campus Martius. What were they thinking?
    I am hoping that it was the will of the client and budget restrictions and not conscious design choices. It looks like they designed it to top the Z-Garage. I think the same design would have looked 100x better if the facade color matched that of the garage and Book Cadillac next door. Im not sure why you would want to draw that kind of attention to something so bland.

  8. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowell View Post
    Plus it surrenders it's most dramatic vista point to a stair well! The acute corner that looks into the heart of Campus Martius. What were they thinking?
    Well it aligns with the stairwell of the garage so I don't think there much they could have done. That is something that should been though about when they built the garage.
    Last edited by MSUguy; September-22-16 at 02:29 AM.

  9. #34

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    whats the story with that building right across Griswold from the Stott Tower? I've stopped and looked at it and it seems to have had windows at some point then there were covered up by some giant piece of marble or something. Anyone know the story on that building?

  10. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by K-slice View Post
    whats the story with that building right across Griswold from the Stott Tower? I've stopped and looked at it and it seems to have had windows at some point then there were covered up by some giant piece of marble or something. Anyone know the story on that building?
    I've always wondered about it as well. Looks to be pretty old from the alley side of the building. Also the old Rite Aid/What About Bob building where there are always one or two homeless people sleeping in the entrance appears to have another façade under that horrible stucco covering, I would be curious if it matched the building around the corner on State St next to the Stott, it appears to be attached and possibly the same building from the satellite view on Google maps and also the little bit of the original façade that is showing appears to be the same color and material.
    Last edited by gumby; September-22-16 at 09:44 AM. Reason: typo

  11. #36

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    The Griswold is soooooo ugly. The original rendering would have fit with the garage and the Book Cadillac. The new design pays homage to nothing.

    Capital Park was last ripped apart just 7 years ago when in September 2009 the Downtown Development Authority spent and wasted $1.1 million of "captured tax money" for a modern design that was like overlaying a square design onto a triangular park.
    Last edited by Gistok; September-22-16 at 09:54 PM.

  12. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gistok View Post
    The Griswold is soooooo ugly. The original rendering would have fit with the garage and the Book Cadillac. The new design pays homage to nothing.
    I just drove by it and was looking at the garage. They actually did a rather nice job masking the fact that the building is a garage, which is smart design given the size of it. Then they plop that white box on top and all it really does is draw attention to the fact that it is sitting on top of a giant garage.

  13. #38

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    Capital Park needed a redesign. It always felt like a place waiting to be used, if only someone would plant a shade tree.

  14. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gistok View Post
    that was like overlaying a square design onto a triangular park.
    Brilliant way of putting it!

    While I have my own aesthetic gripes with many buildings in Detroit, I try to keep in mind a few points. 1) It ain't my money. 2) Even the "nicest" cities, architecturally speaking, have their fair share of clunker buildings. 3) Sometimes buildings grow on you. The pyramids at The Louvre were largely reviled when they were installed; now they seem a perfect juxtaposition. Of course, some buildings don't grow on you. 4) All the activity downtown now is a real plus, even if all of the activity isn't what you would do with the time, money and property. 5) It still ain't my money! Building ugly is better, I think, than not building. Except for the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice. That building should be demolished ASAP.

  15. #40

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    BTW Lowell, thanks for the pics!

  16. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaintMe View Post
    Does anyone have pictures of the park from early to mid 2000s prior to the most recent renovation?
    My best advice is to track down the many folks who used to reside at 1217 Griswold overlooking the park. That was a hopping place full of people in the 90's. Bands used to practice there. Activists lived there. They were media mongers, so documentation is available. I'd start with any of the former members of the Immigrant Suns; they used to live and practice out of there.

    There used to be some amazing art installations and parties there. Some folks, however, got kicked out:http://www.detroityes.com/mb/showthr...a-Classic-Rant

  17. #42

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    New high end steak house, Prime + Proper, set to open in Capital Park.. It sounds amazing.

    http://www.dbusiness.com/daily-news/...se-in-America/

  18. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armin View Post
    New high end steak house, Prime + Proper, set to open in Capital Park.. It sounds amazing.

    http://www.dbusiness.com/daily-news/...se-in-America/

    Fantastic location in one of my favorite buildings. I have been curious as to why they have left up the billboard framing on either side of the top of the building...

  19. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armin View Post
    New high end steak house, Prime + Proper, set to open in Capital Park.. It sounds amazing.

    http://www.dbusiness.com/daily-news/...se-in-America/
    I love the developing food scene, and I think it's great we're able to support some high end restaurants. That said, some of this is bordering on ridiculous: personal steak knives for regulars, a secret bar mentioned in the press release and this:

    “We will tell the story of why we are serving a particular selection, what we are serving" - "Tonight you'll be eating Herbie, a dark brown steer from the thumb region..."

  20. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by archfan View Post
    That said, some of this is bordering on ridiculous: personal steak knives for regulars, a secret bar mentioned in the press release and this:

    “We will tell the story of why we are serving a particular selection, what we are serving" - "Tonight you'll be eating Herbie, a dark brown steer from the thumb region..."
    Yea my thoughts were on par with that. But then again, this is coming from Birmingham, so that should say enough.....

  21. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by archfan View Post
    I love the developing food scene, and I think it's great we're able to support some high end restaurants. That said, some of this is bordering on ridiculous: personal steak knives for regulars, a secret bar mentioned in the press release and this:

    “We will tell the story of why we are serving a particular selection, what we are serving" - "Tonight you'll be eating Herbie, a dark brown steer from the thumb region..."
    I lost it at, "There will be handwritten checks using a quill pen..."

  22. #47

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    My ears perked up for a steakhouse, then I read what they are going to do and I will happily avoid this place. There are plenty of higher quality establishments in the city now that don't have this level of ......y-ness to them.

  23. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by archfan View Post
    I love the developing food scene, and I think it's great we're able to support some high end restaurants. That said, some of this is bordering on ridiculous: personal steak knives for regulars, a secret bar mentioned in the press release and this:

    “We will tell the story of why we are serving a particular selection, what we are serving" - "Tonight you'll be eating Herbie, a dark brown steer from the thumb region..."
    I appreciated the smooth transition between threatening to cultivate my nose and playing up their partnership with local knife smiths. Terrifying.

  24. #49

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    Regarding that steak restaurant, I remember when it was a dollar store, before that finally closed down. Wow. Apartments above, hmm. Wonder how much they will cost...

    Good luck to them. you can still request 'well done' at these places, right?

  25. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by archfan View Post
    I love the developing food scene, and I think it's great we're able to support some high end restaurants. That said, some of this is bordering on ridiculous: personal steak knives for regulars, a secret bar mentioned in the press release and this:

    “We will tell the story of why we are serving a particular selection, what we are serving" - "Tonight you'll be eating Herbie, a dark brown steer from the thumb region..."
    It is pretty funny. Not so much for Herbie...

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