This post was authored by Amy Swift.
After gaining the approval of the Historic Districts Commission for the demolition of a non-historic breezeway back in September, it looks like demolition is well under way at the historic James Burgess Book Jr. House! Designed by Louis Kamper and built in 1911, the Book House is an anchor property in the Indian Village historic district and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The current owner (who is referred to as "Dr. Golden"... how James Bond of her) purchased the property on land contract earlier this year then went gung ho with plans to convert the property from a multi-tenant office building back to its historic use as a single family residence. That's some residence!
According to a worker at the site, demolition crews have been working on the building for at least 2 weeks. When we toured the building in October there was a lot to clear out so judging by what we saw today they've made some good progress. The exterior windows in the original entry court had been filled in with the addition, making for a dark interior. But with the hulking concrete breezeway gone you can see how light-filled the site used to be. When the new windows are put in place this should open the space back up and bring more light in, as was originally intended.
There is also a crew working on mold remediation in the basement. Apparently the basement flooded to a 5ft mark at some point and there is a good amount of mold to remove, but nothing too scary. Just a little bleach and elbow grease and it'll be good as new.
There is of course more to come on this project. The architects only presented demolition plans to the HDC in September so they only technically have approval for that. We'll keep an ear out at the HDC meetings for proposed building plans and keep you up to speed as the project develops.
· LIVEBLOG: On the Scene For Building News at the HDC Meeting [Curbed Detroit]
· Signs of Progress: Businesses Claim Storefronts in West Village [Curbed Detroit]
· Teaser: Hot Agenda Items for Tomorrow's HDC Meeting