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Looking for Crack-Den-ality In Detroit Architecture

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At the very end of WDET's Craig Fahle show [ed note: which is featuring our own editor later today, fyi] on Thursday, December 1 Rabbi Miller made a comment that was rather insulting to a Detroit building. As part of a debate on "who is a real Detroiter?" (which began on Huff Post) the suburban-dwelling Rabbi was responding to Toby Barlow's article on the importance of living within the city limits. Just as it seemed that everything would tie up neatly with hugs and handshakes, the Rabbi made a comment about a Detroit building that left a bad taste for the city in his mouth. As he was leaving the Thanksgiving day Lions game at Ford Field, he had to "pass by a building that was condemned, most likely being used as a crack den," to get to his car. Ouch. He failed to back up the evidence of its crack-den-ality or provide an address. So Curbed asked you, dear readers, to investigate. And then we went a ahead and did it for you, realizing that we'd prefer you did not get up from your computers. Please just keep reading blogs. We got this one!

[Ed note: while we question the Rabbi's judgement of local architecture, we'd like to point out that he was kind enough to respond to our emails. In response to the photo we sent him of the building above, he says "That's it"]

The building the Rabbi suspects of Class A Drug misuse is, as described on the radio, on the fringe of Brush Park. This is across the freeway from the stadium between Brush Street and Beaubien facing Napolean St. and yes, the structure has seen better days. But can you judge a building's substance abuse by the facade? As far as we know, they are not teaching the design language of drugs as a facade reading technique in any of the local design schools. Actually, it might make for a decent fixer-upper: walking distance to Ford Field anyone? The eastern sign says "Angela" at the top which we find rather endearing.

In case you, like the Rabbi, think Angela has crack-den-ality, we present warning signs that your building is using the freebase form of cocaine (base, cavvy, hard, iron, or rock).

Does she have a lack of meeting important obligations at work, school, or home the neighborhood association meeting ?

Does she appear to have dilated pupils windows, red eyes trim, rapid weight brick loss, profuse sweating, and a overall lack of personal hygiene?

Have you seen her with paraphernalia such as baking soda, burnt spoons, crack pipes ect??Does she always have a steady source of the drug or have a steady supply on hand? [Ed note: we did not go inside, but found no paraphernalia outside]

Moral of the story: As Milton said, the mind can make a "heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." As Curbed said, a man looking for his car can make a crack den out of a development opportunity, a development opportunity of a crack den.

· Roundtable Discussion: Who is a Detroiter? [The Craig Fahle Show]