Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas in Detroit: The Milner Hotel dons its holiday best

Walk around downtown Detroit, and every now and then you stumble across a little area that just feels like a different city. No freeways, no stadiums, just quiet little blocks that you didn’t know were there.

Found another one the other day.

I’ve been down Centre Street before, and I’ve seen the Milner Hotel many times. I even took D-Smack in one time to take a leak on the way to a Tiger game. But I spotted it again the other day all decked out for the holidays and it looked like something off a postcard, like there should be a 5-and-dime next door and guy ringing a bell out front.

So I put our crack research team on the case (thanks again to our friends at Google) and learned some interesting things about the Milner. One, it’s the oldest continuously operated hotel in Detroit, having opened in 1917 as the Henry Clay Hotel. And two, it bills itself as “America’s first hotel chain”, with buildings in Detroit, Boston, L.A. and Raleigh.