Friday, October 24, 2008

Sad Anniversary. Bizarre Coincidence

Today is the 10th Anniversary of the demolition of the former J.L. Hudson's Department Store in downtown Detroit. It was built in 12 separate stages, from 1891 through 1946. After all of that history, the building came down after 28 seconds of blasting.



When the site was demolished, it was promised that this would open the doors to unprecedented development in downtown Detroit. The years later, all that stand on the site are the support columns for an office tower that was never built. In many ways, they serve as tombstones for a portion of Detroit's past.

The Hudson's site has been targeted as one of the possible sites for Rock Financial's new headquarters. However, if you believe any of the speculation on the various blogs such as D-Tales or the Detroitist, that might never happen.

The bizarre coincidence comes into play when one remembers that shortly after the Hudson's demolition, then Mayor of Detroit Dennis Archer announced that he was targeting the former Book-Cadillac Hotel for demolition. The historic preservationists who fought the Hudson's demolition then turned their attention to the Book-Cadillac and did so in a much more organized fashion.

Heck, along the way, they even inspired one truly awesome (at least in my opinion) documentary on the hotel.



Anyway, big public celebration of the new Westin Book Cadillac Hotel is this evening. Today is the 10th anniversary of the demolition of the Hudson's Building, which is an event that motivated activists to become much better organized in their efforts to save the Book Cadillac.

I don't know if it was planned to work out this way, but sometimes life reveals itself in the most interesting of coincidences.

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