Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Cadillac Square Apartment Building was once one of Detroit's grand hotels

A stone's throw from Campus Martius Park and a short walk from Greektown and the RiverWalk, the New Cadillac Square Apartments enjoy a prime location in downtown Detroit.

It's unfortunate they couldn't get a little more clever with the name, but I won't nitpick.

The New Cadillac Square Apartment Building – which stands 21 stories tall, next to the 40-story Cadillac Tower (the building that once boasted the Barry Sanders mural and now features a Quicken Loans welcome billboard) – was originally a hotel with a way cooler name. Built in 1927, it was called The Barlum, after co-builder John J. Barlum.

As a hotel, it featured 800 well-appointed rooms that each included (you ready for this?) a bathroom with a tub and shower. The building also included a cigar and news stand, a beauty salon and barber shop, and telephones. Illustrating how people's needs and wants have changed over the years, these days the building features 224 units in various studio and one-bedroom layouts. Call it urban sprawl.

And by the way, for anybody curious about such things, rooms at the New Cadillac Square Apartment Building range from $525 for a studio to $650-$850 for a one-bedroom. If you ask me, they should offer the first month free to anybody who can offer up a better name for the building. I nominate the Henrose, which is what it was called back in the '50s when then-owner Henry Keywell squished his first name with that of his wife, Rose.