Deep Porch Sitting

Since moving to the El Moore, I've been sitting on my porch most mornings with my coffee and laptop. I've made it a comfortable place to sit with my mom's wrought iron furniture and planted marigolds in pots for an added touch of color. The weather has been so beautiful and begs for that deep porch sitting. I have a good view of Second Avenue, the Community Garden, and the Green Alley. My second floor porch has also become perfect for an experience I had not expected. My porch sitting has become a forum for social interaction with people passing by. I think the building itself draws them there. Then they see the bright colors of my porch furniture and flowers and some are surprised to see me sitting there when I greet them. Curiosity draws people to the building because of its grand … [Read more...]

Construction Update – Week of April 6, 2015

We're within a few weeks of construction finally finishing. This week's photos show new railings on the balconies, new decking being added to the back of the building, new light fixtures and small details, like cabinet hardware. Take a look at our progress. … [Read more...]

Construction Update – Week of March 23rd, 2015

We have some photos this week of probably the most beautiful architectural element that will be installed at the El Moore, the balcony railings. All but one of the original railings were destroyed by inept deconstruction practices. One railing, however, was saved, even though it was in pieces. It gave us enough material to work with, and we repaired it and commissioned 3 other duplicate railings to be made to replace those lost. The results are astounding. Take a look at these early photos that were taken at The Smith Shop, where they were constructed by a talented and dedicated crew. Also this week, many finishing touches are being added to the residences and hostel rooms. An original fireplace mantel (the only one left of 16) has been added to the parlor. The elevator is close to … [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...]

Construction Update – Week of November 10, 2014

We're starting to see more dramatic, finished changes to the El Moore. The biggest addition this week was the pouring of the parking lot (just in time before the freezing weather set in!). In the greenhouse, a new stone base wraps around the exterior, taken from sandstone curbs that had been removed from nearby Prentis Street. A new brick floor was begun in the greenhouse's interior. Work continued on the sandstone fence posts that will support the fence around the perimeter of the building. On top of the roofs of the cabins, final touches were made to the solar panel frames. The beautiful balconies of the El Moore had been damaged prior to our ownership of the building, and needed to be replaced. Just as we were searching for matching material, we heard that the First Unitarian Church … [Read more...]

Construction Update: Week of November 3, 2014

This past week we saw the alley taking form with the exposed aggregate section extending from the alley to Second Avenue. Gravel is down in the parking lot area, a final step before cement is poured. The front steps, long damaged, were removed and will be replaced. In the meantime, the old front steps are being used in the greenhouse. Speaking of the greenhouse, a layer of sand was added on top of the insulation in preparation for the brick flooring. The balconies are beginning to be reconstructed. Inside the units, we have reached the 'paint' stage, as the window trim is getting a coat of white paint. Here's a look at this week's work. … [Read more...]

Construction Update: Week of October 27, 2014

Although progress is continuing inside the building, this week we'll once again focus on the exterior work taking place. Winter will be here soon enough, shifting the focus to the interior work. In the meantime, the green alley, fence posts and elevator tower were the targets of intense work this week. The alley has been designed to be a bit different from the green alley at the Green Garage, as its purpose will be primarily for drivers. The alley will be the exit point for residents and guests of the El Moore, so it will receive regular traffic. Because of this, the center of the alley will be cement behind the building and exposed aggregate from the easternmost point of the building to Second Avenue. Bordering these sections of cement will be cobblestone, providing a border for cars … [Read more...]

More from the Underground

Work continued last week on the alley behind the El Moore.  Following the removal of the concrete alley surface, deep holes were dug 15 feet down to expose the sewer line.  This allows us to create a new sewer connection for the El Moore building. It also allowed us to open a section of the line so that a robotic camera could be run down the sewer to gauge the condition of the line in case repairs needed to be made. Exposing the sewer line gave us yet another fascinating glimpse of local history -- this time, the history of the infrastructure buried underground. In the city of Detroit alone, there are nearly 3500 miles of sewer lines, enough to stretch from Detroit to the North Pole (with 200 miles left over for Santa's village). The section of city that includes the El Moore was … [Read more...]