The current development boom in greater downtown Detroit has included a significant number of historical building renovations, including some once considered beyond saving. But because so much of Detroit's architectural heritage has already been destroyed, it’s important to remember the lessons learned by the most avoidable and often pointless losses.
What aspects make some demolitions more regrettable than others? It may be that a building is particularly historic, beautiful, irreplaceable, or connected to important people or events. A loss is even more painful still if the structure is replaced by something less valuable or more harmful: surface parking lots, urban expressways, fast food restaurants, or vacant lots intended to “attract development” that never materializes. Here are just ten examples that represent a cross section of all of these factors. Note: We decided to stick with individual buildings instead of larger areas on this map.
Did we leave out a building that you miss? Let us know in the comments below.
Note: Buildings ordered by year demolished. Aaron Mondry wrote entries for Statler Hotel, Old City Hall, and Saturday Night Building.
- Detroit buildings that almost didn’t make it
- Dormant buildings in Detroit awaiting life
- 10 redevelopments that shaped Detroit over the last 10 years