In 1926, the Detroit Free Press ran a review of the recently opened Michigan Theatre promising that, upon entering, "your spirit rises and soars along the climbing pillars and mirrored walls that ascend five stories to the dome of the great lobby." Fast forward the better part of a century, and the decaying dome of that once-great lobby is more apt to be described as one of the city's "ruin-porn all-stars": a parking garage with an ornate, vaulted, Italian Renaissance-style ceiling.
Huffington Post Detroit editor Kate Abbey-Lambertz has a great run-through of the history of the building: how it was converted into a rock venue in the mid-'70s, and later had most of its interior stripped away when it was turned into a parking structure that easily holds court with the most visually stirring of the genre. Purchased by developers last month for an undisclosed amount after being listed in 2013, along with its adjoining office tower, for $3M, the garage is set to undergo some renovations, with parts of it converted into event spaces, while the Michigan Building itself will become a "focal point for creatives... though geared more toward startups and entrepreneurs than artists." Speaking to HuffPost, Preservation Detroit executive director Claire Nowak-Boyd said that "creative destruction is very much a part of our history, and is perhaps more central to our story than that of any other American city… This site encapsulates that." Take the tour below:
· How A Historic Movie Palace Became America's Most Unusual Parking Garage [HuffPost Home]
· All conversions posts [Curbed National]
· All Detroit coverage [Curbed National]