Thursday, January 7, 2010

Book Tower: Renovation or Demolition?

A lady with whom I work also works at a jewelry store downtown. Sometime last year, the store moved to a new location a few blocks from its previous home. Almost exactly one year ago, Bookies Tavern opened in a new location a few blocks from the stadiums. Before that, it neighbored the jewelry store on Washington Boulevard, in street-level space in the Book Tower, which, with everyone leaving, was now completely empty.

With the building vacant, people started talking about whether the Book Tower (and the original Book Building, to which the tower is connected) would be demolished, ala Hudson’s, Tiger Stadium,… But then reports came out that a real estate investment firm in Clinton Township had bought the Book with plans on converting it into 39 floors of environmentally friendly residential and retail space. And then other people said stuff like, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” And then a few months ago, I was standing in front of the already-refurbished Westin-Book Cadillac Hotel, looking up at the Book Tower across the street, and there was a guy standing on a platform that hung about halfway up the building. He was power-washing the limestone. 

I have no idea what’s going to happen to the Book, but I walked away thinking, “I don’t remember the last time I cleaned something before I threw it away.”