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The Hotel Yorba: More Than Just a White Stripes Jam

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This post was authored by Curbed contributor Katie Sutton


In the southwest Detroit neighborhood of Hubbard Farms sits the mysterious and storied Hotel Yorba. While it's still technically a hotel (we were quoted for $35/night), it's grown up to be part retirement home, part transient destination, and formerly part parolee drop-off. At least that's what the Freep reported back in 2007, which seems to be the last time any media outlet mentioned the place. Yorba is still proudly sporting its iconic "HOTEL YORBA" sign a few stories above the actual building, which was constructed back in 1923 with 300 rooms and a coffee shop.


As the Yorba became a retirement home for older bachelors and a halfway house for the Michigan Department of Corrections, the hotel fell on some hard times. Reports of suicide, rape, drugs, and other unsavory activities were made - including one of a resident Yorb who killed his coworker with a homemade sword. But Yorb's true claim to fame is when Jack White name-dropped it during an early White Stripes tune called, appropriately enough, "Hotel Yorba." The song was recorded in one of Yorba's rooms, and the music video features clips of the exterior, though Jack and Meg did not gain permission to film inside.

· Vexed by crime, stirred to revive [Freep]
· HDC Final Report - Hubbard Farms [City of Detroit]
· Hotel Yorba [Lomography]