Archives for August 2014

El Moore Insights – Tom Prister

When it comes to a project like the El Moore, with its myriad, interconnected details that all require special attention, it’s an understatement to say that it is imperative to have good leadership and oversight. The success of the project, of course, depends on a successful team effort, and at the helm of the El Moore construction team is Tom Prister with the Monahan Company. Tom has enjoyed a career with Monahan for over 25 years, managing a diverse array of project assignments including schools, hospitals, commercial spaces, and apartment buildings. Tom’s role is the on-site project manager. He’s responsible for scheduling,, overseeing the installations of all materials, and coordinating all the trades,– all of this working together to make sure that the project finishes on time and on … [Read more...]

Growing a Greenhouse

One of our early goals in creating a sustainable residential community at the El Moore was to provide an opportunity to residents to participate in growing their own food.  The nearby North Cass Community Garden has shown that there is a strong demand for garden space in Midtown and that community garden space can not only support growing vegetables but also provides an activity that brings people together outdoors and builds relationships.  When studying where this activity could best be located on our site it was determined that this activity should be brought forward, towards the sidewalk and it quickly became clear that this could also help solve another problem we were having with our plans…. How to effectively screen the required parking area from the street. At one time, our … [Read more...]

When the El Moore Was Born

  Continuing our journey into the history of the El Moore, here is a snapshot of Detroit in 1898, the birthday year of the El Moore! Demographics: In 1898, immigrants were continuing to come to Detroit in large numbers, just as they had been doing throughout the 19th century.  In the last decade of the century, Detroit gained approximately 80,000 residents reaching a total population of around 285,000 by 1900.  About 1/3 of city residents were foreign born and approximately 12% of Detroiters did not speak English. Sports: In 1898, the Detroit Tigers were a minor league team in the Western League.  Players with names like Noodles Hahn, Buttons Briggs and Hunkey Hines were on the roster. Bicycling was hugely popular in the city and its surrounding suburbs and Detroit … [Read more...]

Construction Update: Week of August 18, 2014

Most of the changes this week took place outdoors. Much of the property that will become the parking lot was cleared of brush. Part of the cyclone fence came down. Foundations were being built for the entrance to the elevator tower and the greenhouse, and inside the elevator tower the stairway was being constructed. I did get a chance to get downstairs to the basement and got some photos of the progress on the rooms that will be located down there (the laundry room, storage room and hostel spaces). Here are some things I saw this week. … [Read more...]

The paint-by-number- Jesus on the wall

At some point you really do have to have to ask yourself exactly what it was that the El Moore was (is…?) afraid of. St. Benedict medals above every window. Crosses over every door. And now we have this "Paint by Number Jesus with Lambs" that was found hanging on a wall. Certainly there has to be a much deeper story behind this rather comforting image (or perhaps not, depending on one’s religious leanings or non-leanings), but so far no one seems to know much more about the picture other than it was hanging on a wall inside the building. No one knows how long it’s been there, although since we do know for certain that it is a Paint by Number piece of artwork (an identical work was found available for $22.50 on then any hopes we may have had of donating it to the Detroit … [Read more...]

Construction Update: Week of August 11, 2014

Ductwork. Electrical boxes. Insulation. Metal siding. Porcelain door knobs. These are some of the areas of consideration on the El Moore this week. This grand old building withstood a 100-year rainstorm beautifully. Two days later she stands proudly, basking in the sun of another cool summer day. Let's start with the rooftop cabins. The siding is nearly finished, and you can now see the beginnings of porches that will come from their doorways. Ductwork for the HVAC system is being added.... ...but the big addition to the interiors this week is insulation. Cellulose insulation has been added to the walls. Blue jean insulation is being added to the ceilings to help with soundproofing. For all of you archaeology fans, we had an interesting find. While … [Read more...]

Balcony Railings … Lost and Found

Take a look at this picture of the El Moore taken in 2002. If you look closely, you'll notice the shadow of iron railings on the 2nd and 4th floor balconies.  We're not sure when the 3rd floor railings went missing, but we do know what happened to those 2nd and 4th floor pieces. In the early 2000s, the El Moore was undergoing plans to be redeveloped as condominiums, and due to the fact that a third of the railings were missing, the developer decided to remove the remaining two and sell them as part of an auction that also included many of the building's original interior built-in cabinetry, fireplace mantels and antique plumbing fixtures.  And so that was that … by the time the Green Garage purchased the El Moore in 2010, all that remained were marks on the … [Read more...]

Material Reuse…An Overview

During the construction process, the El Moore has taken a very calculated approach to reduce the amount of waste produced from the build.  To meet the goals of reducing the build’s waste by 50% and using at least 25% of total build materials that are reclaimed, a great deal of planning has been involved.  Especially in terms of ways to reuse materials from the job site itself as well as other local sources. One of the most interesting stories regarding the repurposing of materials involves sandstone curbs that once lined Prentice Street, just a few blocks away from the El Moore development site.  Two years ago the city was in the process of re-paving Prentice and, as part of that project, was pulling out the original sandstone curbs to pour new curbing.  While initially the development … [Read more...]