Friday, October 16, 2015

(Photos) Two abandoned Detroit high-rises

If you love vacant high-rise buildings--then head to Detroit. You won't be disappointed.

Below are some snapshots from the Grand Circus Park section of downtown Detroit.

Here's the view from a parking lot where Hotel Tuller once stood. On the left is the United Artist Theatre Building, which is at 150 Bagley Avenue. Designed by C. Howard Crane, a 2,070-seat movie palace was the structure's main attraction, the theater and the building opened in 1927. As with many other downtown movies theaters in the 1970s, the United Artist switched from Hollywood fare to porn flicks and blaxsploitation films.

The owner of the building, the Detroit office of the forerunner of the AAA Motor Club moved to the suburbs in 1974 and the decline of the Renaissance Revival building accelerated. It has been vacant since 1984.

A year earlier, construction of the Detroit People Mover, a taxpayer-funded boondoggle that continues to lose money, began. You'll see a People Mover train in front of the United Artist Building. The People Mover at the time was hailed a possible savior of Detroit.

The structure in the center is the Park Avenue Building. And the one on the right--which is still in use--is the Kales Building. At one time it was the headquarters of the Kresge Corporation, which later became Kmart.

This one sure looks likes two towers to me. Any, the Park Avenue Building, at 2001 Park Avenue, not to be confused with the Park Avenue Hotel that was imploded in July, was another work of Detroit's greatest architect, Albert Kahn. It opened in 1923. It's been vacant for years.

Doesn't this obviously-closed restaurant remind you of the hangout on Seinfeld? This is how the PAB looks from the corner of Park Avenue and Adams.

Detroit in the 1920s tried to emulate New York's Park Avenue. The city got a lot closer to its goal than it gets credit for.

Call 734-459-7570 if you want to move in.

The Park Avenue and the Kales buildings are part of Detroit's Park Avenue Historic District. Both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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