The story behind the baked goods at the El Moore

Hi everyone! My name is Peggy Brennan, and along with my husband, Tom, I am one of the owners of the El Moore. I am also the baker of the coffeecakes that you find at your weekend breakfasts. How did I find myself in this role? Baking has always been something that I enjoyed. I took cake decorating classes when my daughter, Molly, now 36, was 1. Unfortunately for me, my husband is not a big sweets eater, and many of the cakes I brought home ended up in the garbage. As our 3 children grew, it became obvious that they took after their father -- none were big into sweets. Sometimes I would bring cakes or cookies to friends and extended family members, and they loved my offerings, so I knew it wasn't the quality of what I was making that my family was rejecting. I just had a family who … [Read more...]

Blooming landscape

Spring has finally sprung, and the young landscape at the El Moore has started blooming. At the front of the building, we have 2 dogwoods in full bloom and an adjacent garden with rose and peony bushes. Here is a close-up of the dogwoods in front. Below you'll see a shot of one of two buckeyes on the property. They may be small now, but when fully grown, they should get to about 60 ft. Here's another dogwood by the greenhouse. Finally, here's another sure sign of spring.... … [Read more...]

Read about us in Preservation Magazine

We love Preservation Magazine, and were fortunate enough to be profiled in this year's winter edition.  Courtney Balestier, the article's author, spent quite a bit of time interviewing various people associated with the El Moore and the piece was beautifully written, reflecting the building and its occupants well. It also includes the best (in my opinion) photo of the front of the building that has been taken. Take a look! Thanks, Courtney! Detroit's El Moore Building Gets An Eco-Friendly Rehab … [Read more...]

A closer look at Cass Corridor artist Robert Sestok

This month, Essay'd, a writing project I'm part of that publishes short, illustrated essays about contemporary Detroit artists, takes a look at the work of Robert Sestok, the longtime Cass Corridor artist whose one-year-old sculpture park is located just a stone's throw from the El Moore. The author of the essay is Dennis Nawrocki, a seasoned professor of art history at both Wayne State and the College for Creative Studies, as well as an old friend of Sestok's and a deeply-rooted participant in the Detroit art scene. (He's been writing about Cass Corridor art, in particular, since the early '80s.) "Rarely," his new essay begins, "does one get to see a full bore display of an artist’s oeuvre, all at once and all in one place." He continues: Robert Sestok counts as the standout … [Read more...]

El Moore Guests Become El Moore Residents

The El Moore building, now a sustainably restored and operated residential apartment building and urban lodge, has stood watch over the corner of 2nd Avenue and West Alexandrine Street in Detroit Michigan since 1898. Today, the El Moore Lodge offers guests from near and far a unique range of beautiful accommodations, a sustainable urban guest experience, and unsurpassed customer service right in the heart of Detroit in the walkable and bikeable Midtown/Cass Corridor area near Wayne State University. Many guests to the El Moore Lodge are actually local residents who desire a non-traditional bed-and-breakfast type stay for a few days, just to experience the diverse offerings of the City of Detroit. Some guests know what will see and do when they stay at the El Moore Lodge, while others are … [Read more...]

Where life is art!

No trip to Detroit would be complete without a visit to the Detroit Institute of Arts, our beloved historic art museum. The DIA's encyclopedic collection is one of the country's best, and its commitment to accessibility and art education makes it a true people's institution. The DIA is in walking distance of the El Moore, and we certainly encourage our guests to pay it a visit. But art enthusiasts and culture seekers will be interested to know that there are a number of smaller museums, galleries, and other art spaces that are as close, or closer, and that are also definitely worth checking out. (The official slogan of Midtown Detroit, after all, is "Where Life is Art.") And while the DIA's collection includes some notable work by Detroit artists, these smaller spaces … [Read more...]

Gifting the El Moore

It's always such an amazing learning experience watching how people react to the newly opened El Moore.  You work intently for five years re-imaging what living and visiting the El Moore will be like and then it all comes alive with real people coming through the building and reacting to their El Moore...not ours. Having their stories intertwined with the next chapter of the 118 year old story of the El Moore. Creating the new stories together. You know, I do think they change each other. I can feel the El Moore's energy swell with each new resident...each new guest. She's always been gracious. So it's only natural for her to share her new energy with everyone who comes to visit. Everyone mentions they can feel it too. Perhaps the most  unexpected reaction has been that people are now … [Read more...]

Why old places matter

We were delighted to welcome Tom Mayes as a guest to the El Moore Lodge this week. Tom is a historic preservationist from Washington, D.C. and is visiting Detroit to speak at the annual Michigan Historic Preservation Network conference, taking place at Wayne State. Tom's talk was called "Why Old Places Matter: Community, Creativity, and Economics," and is based on an extensive series of related blog posts he wrote between 2013 and 2015. Being fond of old places ourselves, we thought we'd share some of Tom's thoughts on the subject. We couldn't agree more when he writes in his introductory post, "The notion that old places matter is not primarily about the past. It is about why old places matter to people today and for the future. It is about why old places are critical to … [Read more...]

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