Video Oral Histories of the Green Garage

Last month, Liz Riedman, and Anthropology Masters student at Wayne State University, interviewed 3 of the original founders of the Green Garage, Helen Bradley and Don and Mitzi Carter. The interviews were recorded and are below for you to listen to. They are brief, each not more than 5 minutes, but they do give a sense of the original thought behind the Green Garage project. Hope you enjoy them! And thanks, Liz, for helping us embark on our oral history journey.   … [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...]

Walking Around the El Moore: The Children’s Center

The Midtown neighborhood where the El Moore is located is a wonderful mix of residential units, cultural venues, business and retail establishments, entertainment stages, religious institutions, and social services agencies. Just one block from the El Moore is The Children’s Center, a specialized clinical services facility with a staff that works with children who have behavioral, emotional, educational, intellectual, and developmental challenges, as well as those who have experienced trauma. The mission of The Children’s Center, as stated on its website, is “To help children and families shape their own futures.” As we all know by now, the Midtown/Cass Corridor area has a very long and rich history and the same can be said for The Children’s Center. It was founded in 1929 by then United … [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...]

Dalgleish Water Tank Reaches Its Final Resting Place

The historic Dalgleish Cadillac water tower tank has finally been installed in its final resting place at the corner of West Alexandrine and Second Avenue. With the help of metal artisans, it will become the entrance to our public gardens. People will actually walk through the tank to enter the gardens. It was more than four years ago that the tank and its metal legs were reclaimed from above the Dalgleish Cadillac building as Wayne State made way for its new Bioscience building, which is now completed and open on Woodward north of Warren. The tank itself made its way down Cass on a flatbed truck, with the street lights being lifted with a pole to get the tank under them. Many of the Wayne State students came out to witness the was quite a scene. Two weeks ago, the … [Read more...]

The El Moore and Belle Isle: Nature in the City

The El Moore, a beautifully restored 1898 building that offers long-term and short-term sustainable urban living options, has experienced in its “lifetime” the same experiences of beauty, accessibility, decline, and new and ongoing restoration as one of the “jewels” of Detroit, Belle Isle Park. Both the El Moore and Belle Isle Park are shining examples of sustainability efforts and activities in Detroit. Belle Isle is a recreational island park located on the Detroit River between Detroit, Michigan USA and Windsor, Ontario, Canada. In the mid-1800s, there arose a movement to develop urban parks, and in 1845, the City of Detroit hired landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead to develop and design Belle Isle. Mr. Olmstead also designed Central Park in New York City, but at approximately … [Read more...]

Cass Corridor’s own Casey Kasem

Remember Casey Kasem? If you do, you’re probably among that group of us who mumbles our age when asked. But whether you actually remember the days of Casey Kasem, or know enough about music history to know the significance of the man who single-handedly revolutionized the music industry with his Top 40 format (some would say for the best, others not so much), perhaps not as many know that Kasem is from Detroit. But not just Detroit. The larger-than-life radio personality, who ruled the airwaves for more than 30 years from 1970 on with a worldwide listenership that at its peak reached nearly 8 million, was raised right here in the Cass Corridor (it definitely was not Midtown at the time). But not just in the Cass Corridor. Casey Kasem’s childhood home was located in the exact spot … [Read more...]

Great Things are Happening on Third Street!

It’s almost Spring here around the El Moore Midtown neighborhood, and as the robins return and the flowers start to appear, we start to shed our heavy winter wear and see what else is blossoming in and around the Cass Corridor. One of the many great things about Detroit is that a lot of the historic buildings have been preserved over the years, and so when new owners have new ideas for old buildings, most are structurally sound enough to refurbish. That’s what we did with the El Moore building, built in 1898, and that’s what’s happening all around us. This week, we are going to profile not one, but two, exciting new entertainment venues within walking distance from the El Moore: Cinema Detroit and the Shag Bar, both on Third Street. If you are a lover of indie films, you will also love … [Read more...]