Voices of Detroit: Industrial Detroit and the El Moore History

The El Moore is located in the historic Cass Corridor neighborhood in Midtown Detroit. This is a picture of the Cass Corridor circa 1960s; credit to detroityes.com

The El Moore is located in the historic Cass Corridor neighborhood in Midtown Detroit. This is a picture of the Cass Corridor circa 1960s; credit to detroityes.com

The El Moore Project includes the renovation of the El Moore Building—an unique example of sustainable living, located at 624 W. Alexandrine in Detroit, Michigan, and the ongoing efforts of a private/public partnership between the Green Garage—whose mission is to offer opportunities for a sustainable workplace in Detroit, the City of Detroit, and local community organizations. The El Moore apartment building was first erected in 1898, bought by the owners of the Green Garage in 2008, and is slated to open to residents in the spring of 2015. The stories of the El Moore and the stories of the City of Detroit and its unique neighborhoods are interlinked and offer a fascinating insight into sustainable urban living and working for residents and visitors alike. What did Detroit, and the Cass Corridor neighborhood into which the El Moore was built in 1898, look like in 1989?

By the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, when the El Moore building was constructed, the City of Detroit was experiencing its second industrial revolution as the growth of manufacturing was the economic story in Detroit. Not just the automobile industry, for which Detroit is best known, but also the growth of the production of railroad cars, ships, steam radiators and boilers, iron stoves, and pharmaceuticals.

All of this economic activity brought on the employment of hundreds of thousands of workers, who migrated to Detroit from the southern states as well as from countries all over the globe. Between 1870 and 1900, the population of Detroit grew by 77%; the 1900 census reported that there were 285,704 residents in the city.

The El Moore was originally constructed as an eight-apartment building net door to the stately Victorian home for real estate developer Charles W. Moore, but over the next several decades, the El Moore building was sold and redeveloped into up to forty separate apartments for the workers drawn to Detroit and the Cass Corridor to work in the many small firms located in the area.

After being vacant since the early 1990s, we are excited to redevelop the El Moore into five separate components, including the El Moore Residences, which will include thirteen sustainably built and maintained annual rent apartments and the El Moore Lodge which includes 11 overnight accommodations.

El Moore