Archives for March 2015

My time living in the El Moore Part 2

This is the second of a two-part series. Read part 1 here. Things started to go downhill at the El Moore for Lynne when the new manager moved in. Described as someone who looked like a Hell's Angel, he took over the managerial duties after Steve Bauer had left.  She had even tried to convince the previous owner to give her a chance to be the new manager even though, by her own admission, she wasn't the best equipped to handle the job. Still, she figured it was worth a try. This was, after all, one of her favorite places in the world. "I don't know where I got the nerve, but the owner of the building was an attorney named Bruce Miller. And I called Bruce and asked if I could be the manager, which, at that point...I mean, this skinny, 100-pound person who looked more like 19 than … [Read more...]

Walk with us, part 2: why walkability?

This is the second in a four-part series co-authored by Kimberly Williamson and Matthew Piper exploring walkability and the El Moore. In our last post, we defined walkability and considered how walkable life at the El Moore will be for both residents and visitors. This time we'll take a broader, more holistic view of how walkability affects our health, our economics, and our environment. Let's start with individual health: With all the medical advancements of our day, we are nevertheless still plagued with tremendous chronic health diseases, many of which are considered to be preventable. According to the Centers for Disease Control, seven out of ten deaths are caused by chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke. Walking, according to … [Read more...]

The Old & The New

History doesn’t have to repeat itself. For the past few years, my work in restaurant and hostel management has been about thinking on my feet and making quick decisions. Putting out brush fires. Solving issues as best I could in thirty seconds flat. Hoping for the best and letting history decide. Loud, fast-paced, seat of your pants-type stuff.  Being here, now, working with these people on the El Moore Lodge is changing me, necessarily; I’m adopting a longer view and thank goodness. My name is Michel Soucisse and three weeks ago, I joined the Green Garage community to work on the Urban Lodge component of this ambitious project -- the El Moore. What is an Urban Lodge? Well, I can begin by telling you what it is not. Unlike many hotels or hostels you may have had the chance to stay … [Read more...]

Voices of Detroit: The Buildings of Albert Kahn

Being a native Detroiter, I found that doing the research for this post was one of the most fun for me, because I’ve grown up with personal experiences with almost all of the Albert Kahn buildings in Detroit. The El Moore is located in Midtown Detroit, about half-way between downtown and West Grand Boulevard (or just “The Boulevard” as we Detroit natives call it). As we know by now, the El Moore was built by 19th century real estate developer Charles W. Moore (hence the name “El Moore") and designed by local architect A.C. Varney, who also designed many other opulent homes in our neighborhood. But no Detroit architect was responsible for more buildings in Detroit and also in Europe than our own Albert Kahn. Mr. Kahn was born in Germany, and his family immigrated to Detroit around … [Read more...]

My time living in the El Moore. Part 1

  Dr. Lynne Twining may be the only person alive to favorably compare the Cass Corridor of yesteryear to certain enclaves in Paris, France, which she also loves. Almost as much as Detroit. But when Twining makes that comparison, fondly remembering what it was like to live at the El Moore in the mid 1970s as part of an eclectic and multicultural community of residents, she emphasizes that she does not make this comparison frivolously, nor simply to make a point. She also makes clear that she is fully aware of the difference between Paris and Detroit's Cass Corridor, not wanting anyone to think she has 'lost it' in any way. Twining loved her neighborhood, she loved living at the El Moore, and to her it was a magical sort of place full of all variety of folk who each made the … [Read more...]

Baseball at the El Moore…?

The El Moore has been around for more than a century, and when you take a look at the various and dramatic transformations and transmutations that have taken place in the surrounding Cass Corridor neighborhood during that time, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the building has attracted a wide variety of tenants. From the extraordinarily wealthy 'automotive widows' who are thought to have taken up residence during the building's early years, to the more average, 'normal' income types, to the artistic sort to the not quite so much. We have even seen evidence of certain tenants feeling a need to ward off evil spirits with the assistance of crosses placed above windows and doors and the widespread presence of St. Benedict medals. But now, as spring training is about to begin, … [Read more...]

Detroit Property Values: Where do we stand?

The El Moore is an historic apartment building originally erected in 1898, and now being restored as a model of urban sustainable living. As a project that is part of the renewed interest and investment in the Midtown District of Detroit (formerly known as the "Cass Corridor"), the El Moore project is helping to raise property values in an area that was financially "underwater" for decades. The first residents of the El Moore will begin moving into the El Moore Residences in late Spring 2015, and all five components--the Residences, the Lodge, the Gardens, Seasons retail, and the Green Alley--are scheduled for completion in mid-2016. It has been about seven years since the American housing bubble burst. Property values throughout the United States plummeted, and we are currently … [Read more...]

Walking Around the El Moore Neighborhood: Eyes on Midtown

If you have been following this blog that is chronicling every thing you want to know about the El Moore, then you know by now that there are a lot of wonderful things to do and see around our neighborhood. Did someone say “See?” If your sight needs some attention, or if you’re in the market for a beautiful new pair of glasses, then you’ll be so glad to know that there is an optical boutique right here in Midtown, just a few blocks from the El Moore! Michigan natives Dr. Jacquelyn Blakey, OD and Dr. Tiffany Hines, OD, have combined optical experience of over twenty years, and they have opened up a practice in a beautifully decorated and restored part of a historic building on Garfield just east of Woodward. Creatively named “Eyes on Midtown”, their mission is to bring enhanced vision to … [Read more...]