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Historic District Commission approves demo of 3 downtown buildings

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They’ll be rebuilt as part of the Shinola Hotel

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The October Historic District Commission meeting had quite a challenge in front of them last night, and in the end, three buildings on Woodward will see demolition in the future. Reps from Bedrock and Kraemer Design Group presented their plan for the Shinola Hotel, which will not only include the corner building at 1400 Woodward, but will also include the adjacent structures. The Singer Building at 1416 is protected, but the buildings at 1412, 1420, and 1424 will be demolished and rebuilt.

The three buildings have been renovated through the years, but their current state has lost much of the historic nature.

In the new plan (which we’re working on getting), the five buildings will be connected, adding a lot of square footage to the Shinola Hotel. The new buildings will be rebuilt with shorter facades in the front, with a few taller stories in the back. The Singer Building (the taller building in the middle) will include a restaurant on the main level with a display kitchen facing Woodward.

The adjacent lots on Farmer will also see new construction, and the alley connecting these buildings will be activated, much like the Belt Alley. The plan is to have a vibrant community connected to the future Metropolitan and Wurlitzer Hotel projects underway.

The clock on the corner of Woodward and Grand River will eventually placed with a Shinola clock.

The HDC discussed the demo for two hours, and went through many different scenarios to try to make saving the buildings work. Could the buildings be viable on their own? Could the plan work with just renovating the current buildings? They also discussed future scenarios like this and that each proposal is unique in how it’s designed and addressed. One of the more interesting questions asked was how do you draw the line between a building being historic or just old?

We’ll bring you clearer details and renderings as we get them.

1412 Woodward Ave.

1412 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226, USA