The last remaining piece of the first theatre district in Detroit is Albert Kahn’s National Theatre. Vacant for decades, the theater stands in the footprint of the massive Monroe Blocks development. Preservationists were hoping that the entire theater could be saved. Instead, Bedrock will dismantle the facade and reassemble it over a pedestrian walkway on Farmer Street in the development.
Two key factors stand out here: The National Theatre is the only theater designed by Albert Kahn. And the Monroe Blocks isn’t just any development—it’s one of the largest in the city, and the first U.S. project for Schmidt Hammer Lassen. Detroit has lost so many buildings to demolition over the years, and the National Theatre has been closed for over 40 years. Can we expect more of this kind of architectural reuse in the near future? Or should developers focus on saving the entire building? Let us know what you think in the comments.
How do you feel about the fate of the National Theatre?
This poll is closed
It’s a good compromise for the development.
It’s a missed opportunity to save the theater and incorporate it into the design.
Which building are we talking about again?