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Bankruptcy Might Spell Doom for Detroit's Grand Old Police HQ

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[Photography by Chris and Michelle Gerard]

The fate of Detroit's old police headquarters, a grand building in terrible shape, is more uncertain than ever. According to the Freep, the city's proposed bankruptcy settlement with exceedingly unpleasant creditor Syncora includes granting Syncora development rights to the Albert Kahn-designed building, which sits on some tantalizing downtown real estate.

If the deal is approved, Syncora could acquire the building sometime in the next 5-7 years, free of charge. The catch: they'd have to redevelop the property as "space for parking, retail, residential or commercial use." Anything, really.

It would seem that one way or another, 1300 Beaubien is destined for demolition. Preservation has simply never been part of the conversation surrounding the structure, and it's not likely to start with Syncora. Designed by noted architect Albert Kahn, it opened in 1923 as one of America's most admired municipal buildings. Decades of deferred maintenance left the interior in horrific condition by the time police moved to the new headquarters in 2013. Last winter's Polar Vortex certainly didn't help.

· Old Detroit police HQ, riverfront land in settlement [Freep]

1300 Beaubien

1300 Beaubien St, Detroit, MI 48226