Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hotel Charlevoix: Detroit's 100-year-old pile of bricks

A few weeks back in this space, we stopped in at the Park Bar behind the Fox Theater, and I made mention of the lovely view that patrons are afforded of the Hotel Charlevoix just across the street.

It occurred to me that most of you have likely never vacationed at the Charlevoix, so I thought I'd revisit the block and offer a little more detail.

The Charlevoix was built in 1905 and originally served as a 12-story hotel before later becoming an apartment building, and then later yet an office building. Like much of downtown Detroit, it's been empty since the 1980s. Since then, it's been standing there collecting rain, to the point that (although I'm no architect) it now appears the Charlevoix is way beyond repair.

The interior staircases have reportedly been removed to dissuade urban explorers from venturing to its upper levels, and a fence has been erected at the street level to discourage squatters. It'll be interesting to keep an eye on the Charlevoix in the coming months (years?) to see if the wrecking ball is in its future. Honestly, though, to the uneducated eye, it looks like the Charlevoix is a good-stiff-breeze-ripping-across-Grand-Circus-Park away from tumbling without the help of demolition crews.