Archives for February 2015

Walking Around the El Moore Neighborhood: Canine to Five Doggie Daycare

The El Moore is a beautifully restored 1898 historic residential apartment complex that is designed to be a model of urban sustainable living. It is located at 624 West Alexandrine at Second Avenue in the Midtown Detroit Neighborhood, an area that is developing into a highly walkable residential and business community. Long-term residents of the thirteen annual rental apartments of the El Moore Residences and short-term guests of the ten-room El Moore Lodge will be able to walk to nearly one hundred businesses, restaurants, and entertainment venues close by. Of course Wayne State University, The Center for Creative Studies, the Detroit Campus of Michigan State University, the Detroit Medical Center, and several world-class museums are also a short walk or bike ride away from the El … [Read more...]

Walk with us, part 1: what’s in a mile?

This is the first in a four-part series co-authored by Kimberly Williamson and Matthew Piper exploring walkability and the El Moore. We frequently refer to the El Moore project as an ongoing exploration of the nature of sustainable urban living. There's a lot that factors into a more sustainable way of living in cities; one crucial element is a robust “transit ecosystem,” where the choice to walk, bike, or use public transportation is as viable as the choice to travel by car. Here in the Motor City, where we have spent generations prioritizing auto travel at the expense of other modes of transit, we’re starting to better understand how important these alternatives are for individual and community well-being, long-term economic viability, and the general health of our local … [Read more...]

Who says Cass Corridor had to be saved? Postscript

Change is inevitable, even if it isn't always appreciated. But change in Midtown, celebrated by many as a good thing, can be an even better thing when neighbors work together to bring that change about. And when neighbors realize that it's going to take all of them to make the neighborhood reach its potential. The veterans as well as the new arrivals.  This is the last installment of a very eye-opening discussion about both Midtown and the old Cass Corridor with longtime residents Jim Carney and Bridget Tuohey. "On the other hand, I'm actually glad that there are people who have better expectations about safety and security," said Bridget. "I think that we really cannot err too much on that side. So it's a different wave, and it's a different approach than it was for us. A lot of us … [Read more...]

Construction Update – Week of February 9, 2015

In this week's photos, you'll see some of the curved seats for the bay windows, work on rehabbing an original mantle, rebuilding the historic front staircase and the biggest project, construction beginning on the elevator. We've been experimenting, so you'll see some shots in a panoramic style. Enjoy the view this week. … [Read more...]

Voices of Detroit: Neighbors Helping Neighbors Live Sustainably

The El Moore, a residential apartment complex that is designed to be a model of urban sustainable living, is located on the 600 block of West Alexandrine, which is considered part of the Midtown area of Detroit. When fully completed in the 2nd half of 2016, the El Moore complex will include five separate components: the El Moore Residences, thirteen annual rental apartments; the El Moore Lodge, a 10-room urban lodge that will be a connection to the community for short-term visitors to our city; the El Moore Gardens that will be a community gathering space and performance venue for the entire surrounding neighborhood; the El Moore Seasons, which will be a four season, indoor/outdoor retail building for entrepreneurial businesses to serve the wider community; and the Green Alley, which will … [Read more...]

Who says Cass Corridor had to be saved? Part 2

  Long before 'diversity' had ever become a national buzzword, the Cass Corridor was already perfecting its version of the concept back in the late '60s and early '70s, according to longtime resident Bridget Tuohey. But it wasn't just about racial diversity, it was about race, class, and just radically different sorts of people who had figured out how to not only co-exist but to actually enjoy it. "There were a lot of that sort of people in the neighborhood, the sort of 'ex-pats', only they still lived in the United States, who went underground. There was every sort of element, so you had a lot of artists and musicians, you had a lot of students and professors, you had bad guys, you had pimps and whores..." "I don't think you had a lot of that though," interrupts Jim … [Read more...]

What the floors say

When the redeveloped El Moore's first residents start moving in in early June, they might notice something interesting about the historic flooring in their apartments: See that distinct line at the bottom of the photo above? That's where a wall used to be, before we removed it during construction. It's now become a kind of remnant, a visual reminder of the building's long history and its evolution over time. We removed several walls during construction after we decided to redesign the layout of the El Moore's apartments. We weren't the first ones to think about overhauling the space inside the 1898 building; its original eight luxury units (two per floor) were divided and subdivided several times in the years after the Great Depression (and probably before that, too). In fact, … [Read more...]

Voices of Detroit: Defining Districts in Detroit

The El Moore is on a block that is part of an already existing neighborhood, located in the Midtown District. How do we define a “neighborhood?” Each person you ask may have a different answer, but the most commonly accepted definitions include: “a district that forms a community within a town or city” and “the area surrounding a particular place, person, or object”. The City of Detroit has long been known as a city of neighborhoods, and our town still holds the record of the highest number of single-family homes in the nation. The El Moore, a residential apartment complex that is designed to be a model of urban sustainable living, is located on the 600 block of West Alexandrine. When fully completed in the 2nd half of 2016, the El Moore complex will include five separate components: … [Read more...]