Park construction update – August 1, 2016

If you live near or pass by the corner of Alexandrine and Second, you're aware of the development of the park on the northwest corner, adjacent to the El Moore apartment building. Late last week we were finally able to see a more fully developed view of the 2-story building that will reside on the north end of the park, butting up to the green alley. A roof is now on, and by the end of this month we should be able to see the limestone and brick facade being applied. Current work includes plumbing, electrical and insulation. The building will be mixed-use, with retail space, food and/or drink vendors, a stage, bathrooms and space for yet-to-be-determined purposes. The entire park should be ready for use by early next spring. … [Read more...]

The park building in early July

The retail building in the park adjacent to the El Moore is coming along! … [Read more...]

A First Look At The Retail Building

As you may remember,  just adjacent to the El Moore we are developing a park. The first component of the park to be built is the retail building. 'Retail' is actually a misnomer, as it will house much more than retail. We hope to designate some space for learning communities. In addition, the building will have bathrooms and a stage. Pergolas will extend from the sides and will provide coverage for picnic benches. More will be planned for this building throughout the winter, and it will open some time in the summer or fall of 2017. … [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 move...it was quite a scene. Two weeks ago, the … [Read more...]

Progress in the Park

  If you live or work anywhere near the El Moore, you are aware that big things are happening in the space we've designated for the park. Construction teams have been working on constructing the foundation for the 2-story retail building that will reside on the north side of the park. The building will be shaped like a cross. As you can see in the above photo, the center part of the cross will house the basement, with retail and meeting space above. The shorter ends of the cross, on slabs, will be home to take-out food retailers and rest rooms. Pergolas will extend from all 4 sides, with picnic benches underneath and a stage will extend from the south side. If you are in the area this summer, stop by and see the progress! A beautiful reclaimed brick building will be … [Read more...]

Gifting the El Moore

It's always such an amazing learning experience watching how people react to the newly opened El Moore.  You work intently for five years re-imaging what living and visiting the El Moore will be like and then it all comes alive with real people coming through the building and reacting to their El Moore...not ours. Having their stories intertwined with the next chapter of the 118 year old story of the El Moore. Creating the new stories together. You know, I do think they change each other. I can feel the El Moore's energy swell with each new resident...each new guest. She's always been gracious. So it's only natural for her to share her new energy with everyone who comes to visit. Everyone mentions they can feel it too. Perhaps the most  unexpected reaction has been that people are now … [Read more...]

Art From Trash – Repurposing Metal Window Frames

Way back in April of 2014, this is the way the bay windows looked on the facade of the El Moore. Wood window frames were surrounded by some well-worn metal. As we deconstructed the window frames to make way for the new, we made the decision to salvage the metal in hopes that it might be of use at a later date. Fast-forward about a year and a half. The building was nearing completion, and we were still looking for a use for some of the remaining metal. In October of 2015, Tom and I were visiting Greenfield Village when we happened upon the tinsmith shop. We listened to the tour, and it gave Tom an idea for how some of our metal could be used. He had me take this photo: Tom inquired a bit about how the patterns were made in the tin (basically just a screwdriver or chisel and a … [Read more...]

Curbs to Columns

I'd like to take a moment to bring some attention to the story behind the material we're using for our front columns, as well as well a long overdue introduction to Joe and Scotty, the masons that restored our building's grand facade. The El Moore's property is wrapped by century old wrought iron fencing.  This fencing is true iron and very heavy.  To give it proper scale and support, our design called for nine masonry columns to mark the corners of the fence, as well as to flank either side of our driveway and pedestrian gates.  To our knowledge, the original El Moore building never had an ornate fence and there are no signs of masonry columns, so we had to arrive at a design that would complement the building's unique architecture.  Several years ago, when we reconstructed our sister … [Read more...]