City Club Apartment Construction in Detroit
UPBEAT DETROIT PICTURES - WHY NOT? »

FUN THINGS TO DO IN DETROIT »



Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 26 to 44 of 44
  1. #26

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dtowncitylover View Post
    And remember that building wasn't one building, it was a collection of interwoven buildings built from the 1920 to the 1940s as Hudson's expanded. There was even an alleyway people would have to cross to get from one building/department to the next.
    And an old blues guy (what WAS his name?) who sat in the alleyway between the two buildings playing his guitar.

  2. #27

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by southen View Post
    i am too young to have memories of hudson's, outside of the demolition, but it is remarkable how it dominated the woodward streetscape. it dwarfed everything. i know it was a loved and revered building, but did anyone ever think that it was out of place downtown?

    i would take it back in a heartbeat, but i cant help but hope that whatever gets built on the block in the future is more in scale with the surrounding buildings.
    I don't think anyone thought of it as out of scale at all. First, you have to remember that neither downtown buildings, nor Hudson's itself, were planned in any way other than by their individual owners. Hudson's was just the largest of several department stores downtown, not all of which (like Crowley's, the second largest) were even on Woodward

    Until the "urban planners" got ahold of Detroit after WWII, Woodward was lined with buildings and stores on both sides from Grand Circus Park (and beyond to the north) right down to the river, with a break only at Campus Martius and Cadillac Square where the stately (or horrifyingly Victorian, depending on your point of view) City Hall faced the County Building a couple of blocks away. It was an entirely and densely urban scene, and Hudson's was only part of the landscape. No more "out of scale" than Macy's in New York or Marshall Field's in Chicago.
    Last edited by EastsideAl; February-28-15 at 11:41 AM.

  3. #28

    Default

    i guess i may have a different view if i had memories. looking at that aerial footage it absolutely dwarfs everything near it. i guess it may not have felt that way from the ground.

  4. #29

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by southen View Post
    i guess i may have a different view if i had memories. looking at that aerial footage it absolutely dwarfs everything near it. i guess it may not have felt that way from the ground.
    Yes, but that's in large part because that aerial view was taken after so many nearby large buildings had already been taken down. City Hall, the Kern Block, the Monroe Block, the Cadillac Square Building, and both Crowley's buildings were gone by then, greatly enlarging the "hole" in the middle of downtown. If you look at, say, the DTE aerial shots from the early '50s you will get a much better view of Hudson's in its true urban context.

  5. #30

    Default

    Eastside Al, you have a year for the pic of Bennett Park?

    I asked an address question awhile back.....one of my earlier Detroit ladies was living at the Wolverine Hotel.

    Southen, I was there. Al speaks the truth.......with a MUCH better memory than I.

  6. #31

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mikefmich View Post
    Eastside Al, you have a year for the pic of Bennett Park?
    The DPL Burton Historical site doesn't give a year for it, but from the political ads on the stands, I would guess that it's from 1907. Charles Nichols began serving as City Clerk in 1908, meaning that he was elected in the 1907 election.

    From the packed stands, and the dense number of them, as well as them being festooned with campaign signs, I would guess that this picture was taken at either an important late season game, or the Tigers first World Series against the Cubs.

  7. #32

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by davep View Post
    It didn't need to only if it was going to be redeveloped, otherwise it made no sense to have a vacant hotel next to a new stadium. I mentioned this in another thread, but Detroit had numerous vacant hotels at the time. A parking lot is not much better, but the space is there for future development. It has taken almost two decades to get to the current economic climate, where redevelopment of old buildings is really picking up.
    Detroit has had numerous vacant buildings sitting around for 30 years, so it doesn't mean that because you put up a shiny new one close to it that it needs to be knocked down. That was the situation with the Lafayette Building. God forbid those penthouses at the BC had to stare at the Lafayette for awhile until a plan came to place for redevelopment. Like knocking down that one building meant that they wouldn't pass 5,000 others.

    As for the parking lot situation, it's taken almost 20 years for a proposed plan from Illitch to convert that parking lot into housing where the Wolverine stood. Would the Wolverine have been rehabbed before now? Who knows. And with his track record, I'll believe it when I can walk into the building when it's standing there.

  8. #33

    Default

    In his book, "Downtown," Urban historian Robert Fogelson writes about how many building owners demolished their structures and paved surface lots in the 1930's because they couldn't fill buildings with tenants, but they could earn enough parking money to pay their taxes. Hence, they came to be known as "tax payers."

    This goes along with his ideas that much of the urban decay that later swept America was emerging in the 20's and 30's. There is a similar sentiment in Christopher Lineburger's work, "The Option of Urbanism." He uses the town square imagery from Back to the Future to show how the America of 1985 and the America of 1955 and 1935 are basically one and the same.

    Links here:

    http://www.amazon.com/Downtown-Its-R...words=downtown

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Option-Urb.../dp/1597261378

  9. #34

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 1953 View Post
    In his book, "Downtown," Urban historian Robert Fogelson writes about how many building owners demolished their structures and paved surface lots in the 1930's because they couldn't fill buildings with tenants, but they could earn enough parking money to pay their taxes. Hence, they came to be known as "tax payers."

    This goes along with his ideas that much of the urban decay that later swept America was emerging in the 20's and 30's. There is a similar sentiment in Christopher Lineburger's work, "The Option of Urbanism." He uses the town square imagery from Back to the Future to show how the America of 1985 and the America of 1955 and 1935 are basically one and the same.

    Links here:

    http://www.amazon.com/Downtown-Its-R...words=downtown

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Option-Urb.../dp/1597261378
    The Back to the Future thing is really interesting. They put a lot of effort into the background of that movie. In 1955, the little town's downtown is thriving, with the courthouse square full of people and lots of stores. In 1985, it's struggling, with porn theaters, a vacant courthouse, and part of the square converted to parking. Meanwhile, all the retail businesses are out at the mall. In 2015, the courthouse has been renovated, there are lots of stores again, and the town is bustling. We don't see the mall, but we do see a subdivision on the edge of town that is now considered a rough area.

    It's pretty interesting how it predicted correctly that downtowns would come back.

  10. #35

    Default

    Subsidized, I agree completely. I am so sick of looking at that garage.

    Southen, it certainly dwarfed Merchant's Row, but it also marked the gateway to the taller buildings of the financial district. The taller Stott building is a block west, for example. The tall-building gateway to downtown is actually Grand Circus Park, i.e. Broderick and Whitney. I think what's getting you-- and me too-- is the bulk of the Hudson's building. It was not only tall, but took up an entire block, while the other nearby blocks were apportioned into 5-6 buildings.

    Oddly enough, we'll probably get a big block development from Bedrock that uses the block similarly. I don't mind if they go quite tall with it, but my biggest hope is that the design prevents a monolithic feel along Woodward, because that would indeed be a little out of place.

  11. #36

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackinaw View Post
    I think what's getting you-- and me too-- is the bulk of the Hudson's building. It was not only tall, but took up an entire block, while the other nearby blocks were apportioned into 5-6 buildings.

    Oddly enough, we'll probably get a big block development from Bedrock that uses the block similarly. I don't mind if they go quite tall with it, but my biggest hope is that the design prevents a monolithic feel along Woodward, because that would indeed be a little out of place.
    Agree with you on the massing. Not having a building on the Kern's block probably offset the massing a little bit, but it was still an incredibly "thick" building, in addition to being tall.

    My guess is the Hudson's site development will have a mid-rise 6-8 story component that will take up the whole block with a much thinner tower (or two or three) rising out of the top of it, kind of like the design contest winner.

  12. #37

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Khorasaurus View Post
    Agree with you on the massing. Not having a building on the Kern's block probably offset the massing a little bit, but it was still an incredibly "thick" building, in addition to being tall.
    It prefers the term curves, thank you.

  13. #38

    Default

    Here is a 1951 DTE Aerial photo of the center of downtown from Grand Circus to Campus Martius, showing Hudson's in its former urban context. As you can see, Woodward and the blocks on either side of it are almost solidly built up, except for parks, etc. Hudson's is big, to be sure, but not out of scale I think in this setting.

    Name:  downtown aerial 1951.jpg
Views: 455
Size:  83.7 KB

  14. #39

    Default

    Did Library Street cross Gratiot back then? When was it truncated?

  15. #40

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Khorasaurus View Post
    Did Library Street cross Gratiot back then? When was it truncated?
    It crossed Gratiot and went through to Monroe until the Compuware garage was built, around 1999. That block was crossed by a bridge between the 2 Crowley's buildings, as seen in the picture. Also as seen in the picture, Library crossed Monroe and ended at Randolph until the now-demolished Bates Garage was built in the late '50s.

  16. #41

    Default

    Here is a 1977 picture of Library between Monroe and Gratiot, with the Crowley's bridge going over it, from HistoricDetroit.org:



  17. #42

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EastsideAl View Post
    It crossed Gratiot and went through to Monroe until the Compuware garage was built, around 1999.
    Actually, it was already demolished back to Gratiot by 1981, though the crosswalk stripes were still there in Monroe, but those were removed by 1997.

  18. #43

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mtburb View Post
    Actually, it was already demolished back to Gratiot by 1981, though the crosswalk stripes were still there in Monroe, but those were removed by 1997.
    So, it was closed when Crowley's went down? Now that I think back, I'm sure you're right.

    I remember the vast, ugly parking lot that sat on that piece of land for the next several years (awaiting the "Cadillac Center" that was never built, except for the People Mover station), and I don't remember Library running through it. I have a 1987 map that shows it still going through, but I think it's wrong.

  19. #44

    Default

    A couple of oblique views of Hudson's, facing west, using the DTE aerials from 1981 and 1997:

    Name:  DT-1981.jpg
Views: 516
Size:  65.5 KB


    Name:  DT97.jpg
Views: 492
Size:  59.0 KB

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Instagram
BEST ONLINE FORUM FOR
DETROIT-BASED DISCUSSION
DetroitYES Awarded BEST OF DETROIT 2015 - Detroit MetroTimes - Best Online Forum for Detroit-based Discussion 2015

ENJOY DETROITYES?


AND HAVE ADS REMOVED DETAILS »





Welcome to DetroitYES! Kindly Consider Turning Off Your Ad BlockingX
DetroitYES! is a free service that relies on revenue from ad display [regrettably] and donations. We notice that you are using an ad-blocking program that prevents us from earning revenue during your visit.
Ads are REMOVED for Members who donate to DetroitYES! [You must be logged in for ads to disappear]
DONATE HERE »
And have Ads removed.