Open windows on our world

The Greenhouse at the El Moore is a nascent, wondrous, window-filled place. Its windows, in fact, are what make it such a grand place for growing. They are what make the greenhouse so porous, so special and so intriguing. They allow so much light in--the first rays of daybreak grace its repurposed wooden (even more porousness!) interior. Most importantly though, it lets you and me in. Where most greenhouses are for growing and maintaining plant life, our Greenhouse exists here to help grow and sustain our community. There, every day, our neighbors, as well as the sounds, smells and sights of our street and our neighborhood, pour in.  It is in this "allowing in" and in "sharing" that the Greenhouse will find and establish its identity.   With the El Moore Lodge entering its … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

The “Hidden Children” of the Cass Corridor: The Cultural Roots Art Camp

The El Moore, a sustainably restored apartment building and lodge originally built in 1898, is located in the Midtown Detroit Neighborhood, which is also still very fondly called the “Cass Corridor” District. Midtown Detroit also includes another one of Detroit’s “Jewels,” the Detroit Cultural Center, which is a nationally designated historic district that contains several museums, libraries, Wayne State University, art galleries, and other historic residential districts. All of the venues, attractions, and developments in the Detroit Cultural Center are within walking and biking distance of the El Moore. Keeping in the theme of the Detroit Cultural Center, an arts activist and teacher, Ms. Makini Ahket, has for the past several years run a “Cultural Roots Art Camp” in the large yard of … [Read more...]

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