Using reclaimed materials at the new retail building – Part 2

Stepping inside the new retail building, the floors are the first thing that you might notice. The wood for the floors comes from 2 deconstructed barns, one from Livingston County, built in 1882, and one from Lapeer County, built in 1914. The wood lives on in our beautiful floors. Looking straight ahead upon entering, you'll notice a staircase made from thin slats of wood. The wood you are seeing is actually leftover material from building the rooftop cabins. The wood is lath that originally was behind the drywall when the El Moore was built. The staircase framing came from a deconstructed house in Detroit. For the stair treads, window trim and baseboards, we were fortunate to find 90% of the wood from 2 deconstructed barns, one from Dundee, built in the 1880's, and one from … [Read more...]

Using reclaimed materials at the new retail building – Part 1

If you have walked by the corner of Alexandrine and Second in the last year you have observed a large construction fence, and behind it piles of materials that have slowly contributed to the formation of a 2-story retail building and the 'hardscape,' or permanent planting bed foundations, for the gardens. The building, garden beds, fence, columns and entrance tank have all come from reclaimed items, some sourced locally, and some from as far away as New York. Below you'll see photos of some of the features of this new space, all developed from these reclaimed materials. This post focuses primarily on exterior features created from the reclaimed materials. In the next post, I'll describe some interior features.   Let's start with the scratch brick that comprises most of … [Read more...]

The Dalgleish Cadillac Water Tower Finds a New Home at the El Moore

The El Moore building, built in 1898, has seen its share of economic ups and downs in Detroit over the years. The Great Recession, which officially lasted from December 2007 through July 2009, was the worst economic time for the United States since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The U.S. auto industry and the City of Detroit were particularly hard hit by both the 2007/2008 mortgage crisis and the near-demise of two of the “Big Three” U.S. car companies in 2008/2009. General Motors Corporation (GM) was the largest recipient of the government restructuring package, and the company was forced to close many dealerships, including Dalgleish Cadillac in Detroit, GM's first Detroit Cadillac dealership, and also its last Detroit Cadillac dealership. Dalgliesh Cadillac closed its doors on … [Read more...]

Skies Over the El Moore

There's so much development going on in Midtown Detroit that you may never think to look beyond the exciting hustle and bustle around the El Moore. But if you stop, take a minute and just raise your chin up a click or two, I guarantee you'll be shocked by the amazing beautiful skies that often hang over our ever-evolving neighborhood. Here's some of what I see from my wonderful little apartment with a view: Karen Batchelor is a resident of the historic El Moore in Midtown Detroit.  Moving here was -  and continues to be Karen's big adventure in innovative and sustainable urban living in her 547 square foot "Batchelor Pad". … [Read more...]

Halloween Returns to the El Moore

Now that the El Moore in Midtown Detroit has come back to life, opening its doors to residents for the first time in many years, we are creating ways we can come together as a community. I am Karen Batchelor, one of a small group of people honored to call the El Moore - Home. As we settle into our sustainable lifestyles in this historic building, we have had breakfast together, happy hour on occasion, and last week - our first Halloween gathering. Probably the first Halloween anything at the El Moore in decades. We began our spooky celebrations with a pumpkin carving several days before Halloween. You should have seen our lobby transformed into an efficient assembly line of scooping, designing, carving, laughing and all of us just plain having fun - Together. Well, actually you can … [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...]