A farewell to Dan Commer, El Moore resident

Dan Commer, one of the original residents of the El Moore, will be moving soon, and we will miss him. He has an opportunity to pursue a Master's degree in Urban Planning at U of M, and will be moving to Ann Arbor this summer. Last week I had a chance to sit down with Dan to talk over his experience living at the El Moore. A few years ago, Dan had been living quite contentedly in Lafayette Park, working on his undergraduate degree in Urban Planning at Wayne State. Most of the time he was commuting to his classes by bike. Dan volunteered on Saturdays with Earthworks, and one day another volunteer mentioned that Dan might be interested in the work at the Green Garage. He stopped by for one of our Friday lunches, and attended a few more before hearing from Jason Peet about an apartment … [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...]

The First Year

Anne Cahalan and her cat Wobbles have lived at the El Moore for just over a year. She is an application developer for Detroit Labs, and enjoys baking, knitting, and hanging out in the parlor talking to Lodge guests.  One year and a couple months ago, I was starting to think about moving. My old place was not very conveniently located and was a little too big for just me and my cat rattling around. The space was amazing--a giant loft right on the river, with views of freighters drifting by--but the maintenance was spotty and I could always hear the couple next door arguing in the middle of the night. The only thing I truly loved was my neighbors, the Adragnas, who lived right across the hall. I had met Jeremy when we both worked at the Archdiocese of Detroit, and I remember the day he … [Read more...]

Biking Around the El Moore: Fun Times in the Motor City!

The El Moore, a sustainably-renovated urban lodge, apartment complex, and bed & breakfast originally built in 1898, is located in Midtown Detroit, Michigan. Yes, Detroit, the car capital of the world for more than a century. But wait! What’s happening on the streets of Detroit? Bike lanes! One hundred fifty miles of NEW bike lanes! Yes, Detroit, car capital of the world, can now also boast that it is now among the fastest-growing bike cities, according to the League of American Bicyclists, logging a 400% increase in bike riding from 2001 - 2014. At the El Moore, many residents and guests do not even own a car, preferring instead to get around our great city  using only pedal power. The El Moore has a beautiful covered bike shelter within the gated community that protects the bikes all … [Read more...]

Walk on, El Moore!

Last year around this time, as construction was wrapping up on the El Moore, Kimberly Williamson and I wrote a four-post series on walkability in this blog. We considered how walkable life at the El Moore would be, looked at the broad benefits of walkable neighborhoods, explored walkability in Detroit more generally, and wrapped up with a reflection on how residents are the heart of sustainable, walkable neighborhoods. A lot has happened in the year since. The El Moore's first wave of residents moved in in July, and just a few months later, we saw the opening of the Lodge, which continues to welcome more and more guests from around the region and world. Today, both residents and guests alike are enjoying the benefits of life in our walkable district, running errands, … [Read more...]

The El Moore Residents Meet the El Moore Lodge Guests

The El Moore, a fully and sustainably restored 1898 residential complex located at 624 W. Alexandrine in Midtown Detroit, includes a unique mixture of long-term leased apartments and short-term accommodations for guests to our wonderful city. Whether you plan to visit Detroit for one night or a couple of weeks, the El Moore Lodge offers you a place to call home that is so much more the usual corporate hotel room. The El Moore Lodge gives you several choices beautifully appointed rooms that integrate the 19th-century past with the 21-century present: the Rooftop Urban Cabins on the top of the El Moore with a breathtaking view of the cityscape, the Parkview Rooms on the 1st floor right next to the El Moore Parlor, the budget-conscious Gardenview Shared Rooms that harken back to the … [Read more...]

Nighty night, St. Benedict

"Saint Benedict of Nursia, Nursia also spelled Norcia    (born c. 480, Nursia [Italy]—died c. 547, Monte Cassino; feast day July 11, formerly March 21), founder of the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino and father of Western monasticism; the rule that he established became the norm for monastic living throughout Europe. In 1964, in view of the work of monks following the Benedictine Rule in the evangelization and civilization of so many European countries in the Middle Ages, Pope Paul VI proclaimed him the patron saint of all Europe." He was a small man, strangely dressed (for wintertime Detroit, anyway) with a long grayish robe made of a very coarse material, sandals, and a staff that nearly equalled his own height.  But more than the relative strangeness of his clothing and … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Day Parade – Priceless

My grandson (Tamere, 5 years old) and I attended the Thanksgiving Day Parade along Woodward this year.  It was just the two of us.  Grandma and Grandson. He was very excited, asking all kinds of questions, including, "Will Santa be there?"  I told him that, "He certainly will be there, he is the last one in the parade."  This was a concern for him as he wanted to know, "Why does Santa have to be last?" I explained that Santa wants to make sure that all the people that want to see him will be there before he makes his appearance. For a November day in Detroit,  there was good weather for the parade, overcast but 50 degrees. So we left the El Moore at 8:45 AM and sauntered down Alexandrine to Cass, then over to Woodward and were right on time for the beginning of the parade. Not only … [Read more...]