A century after it was built, Patterson Terrace—or what's left of it—continues to guard the corner of John R and Erskine. After multiple fires, Patterson is little more than an elegant brick shell awaiting whatever comes next. Last month, workers were spotted removing garbage and debris from Patterson's interior. According to DetroitUrbex, they claimed to be preparing the building for a renovation that would "retain the exterior elements." That sounds like good news, but it's not the entire story. The city has classified Patterson as a dangerous building, earning it a spot on the demolition list.
According to city records, Patterson Terrace's seven townhouses are split between three different owners, as depicted in the image above.
GREEN: A buyer named Raad Almass grabbed the three apartments facing Erskine Street in the 2012 tax auction, paying a total of $24,300. Sources say that Mr. Almass hopes to renovate at least his portion of Patterson Terrace, though we were unable to contact him.
RED: According to city records, the Detroit Planning and Development Department (PD&D) owns a single unit of the building. PD&D is also responsible for placing the entire building on the emergency demolition list.
BLUE: Owned by Elana McKinney. No contact info is available.
Here's where things begin to get strange. According to PD&D, Raad Almass has applied to purchase the city-owned parcel (shown in red), which would increase his Patterson holdings to four units. PD&D also confirmed that Almass has not filed a request to have Patterson removed from the emergency demolition list, a fairly routine procedure for building owners planning a renovation. Almass has had plenty of time to file the paperwork, as two of his units actually made it onto the demo list that accompanied Detroit's initial bankruptcy filing.
Right now, just two hangups stand between Patterson and the wrecking ball:
· Money: The demolition is still classified as "unfunded" in city records, though its status as an emergency demolition gives it priority should the cash arrive.
· The Historic District Commission: Patterson is right in the middle of a historic district, so the mighty HDC would normally have to sign off on any demolition request. However, that power seems to evaporate when it comes to buildings slated for emergency demolition, as they're thought to pose an immediate danger to the public.
Will someone step in to save one of Brush Park's most prominent pieces of history, or will Patterson vanish into rubble? Either way, it sounds like we might find out soon.