Thanksgiving Day Parade – Priceless

My grandson (Tamere, 5 years old) and I attended the Thanksgiving Day Parade along Woodward this year.  It was just the two of us.  Grandma and Grandson. He was very excited, asking all kinds of questions, including, "Will Santa be there?"  I told him that, "He certainly will be there, he is the last one in the parade."  This was a concern for him as he wanted to know, "Why does Santa have to be last?" I explained that Santa wants to make sure that all the people that want to see him will be there before he makes his appearance. For a November day in Detroit,  there was good weather for the parade, overcast but 50 degrees. So we left the El Moore at 8:45 AM and sauntered down Alexandrine to Cass, then over to Woodward and were right on time for the beginning of the parade. Not only … [Read more...]

Voices of Detroit: Janet Webster Jones, Owner, Source Booksellers

With all of the recent discussions about the “new” businesses and residents now populating Detroit, often overlooked are the “old” businesses and business people that have been here in Detroit for decades, fighting, striving, surviving, and even thriving against great odds. Some of those odds have very little to do with Detroit per se, but are new national trends, such as the dearth and death of the traditional independent and corporate-owned bookstores due to the explosive growth of online options such as Amazon. But this IS Detroit, and as we all know by now, “Detroit Hustles Harder.” A Detroit business, an independent bookstore, no less, has been here for over twenty-five years, and is still here welcoming both “new” and “old” Detroiters to Midtown, and teaching the youngin’s how it’s … [Read more...]

Fred’s Key Shop: A Detroit Cass Corridor Institution

As a native Detroiter who grew up in the general West Grand Boulevard area near where the 1967 Detroit Rebellion began, I have deep and wonderful memories of those days in my beloved City. I remember all of the little stores and shops on 12th Street (now Rosa Parks Boulevard) and 14th Street and Linwood. Things have definitely changed over the years, and as we welcome the “new” businesses to Cass Corridor area (now called “Midtown”), we must always honor and remember that there were already a lot of businesses in Detroit. These “old school” businesses  usually started right after World War II when the population of Detroit was close to two million residents. The business owners worked hard, thrived, and some of the businesses died, were destroyed in the 1960s and beyond, or just plain … [Read more...]

Podcast: Stories of the El Moore – The Elevator Tower

The decisions leading to the elevator tower being built on the west side of the existing historic El Moore building is probably one of the most challenging design aspect of the entire renovation project.  This podcast shares our design thinking that lead to the eventual design.  It shows how triple bottom-line thinking can lead us to a more holistic design and new possibilities.   The picture shows the elevator tower still under construction; more to come.   Thanks for caring...thanks for listening.  Please share your thoughts with us....we're listening too. … [Read more...]

Who says Cass Corridor had to be saved? Postscript

Change is inevitable, even if it isn't always appreciated. But change in Midtown, celebrated by many as a good thing, can be an even better thing when neighbors work together to bring that change about. And when neighbors realize that it's going to take all of them to make the neighborhood reach its potential. The veterans as well as the new arrivals.  This is the last installment of a very eye-opening discussion about both Midtown and the old Cass Corridor with longtime residents Jim Carney and Bridget Tuohey. "On the other hand, I'm actually glad that there are people who have better expectations about safety and security," said Bridget. "I think that we really cannot err too much on that side. So it's a different wave, and it's a different approach than it was for us. A lot of us … [Read more...]

Bob Sestok – metal artist neighbor

Before the fresh, exuberant hipness of Midtown, there were the sharp edges of the Cass Corridor. And in the early days of the Cass Corridor, back in the ‘60s and’70s, there was the Cass Corridor Arts Movement, which became an internationally recognized movement. Local artist and native Detroiter Bob Sestok, who still lives in the Cass Corridor/Midtown neighborhood just several blocks from the El Moore, was a leading figure in that movement. From "It is no accident that the Cass Corridor phenomenon occurred during a time when the younger generations were attempting to reinvent politics, culture, and morality in America in a politically charged era that included the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X, the rise of drug guru Timothy … [Read more...]