Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Book Cadillac Hotel in the NY Times

The New York Times published a glowing article yesterday about the recently reborn Westin Book Cadillac Hotel.

The article referred to 700 people gathering to celebrate the hotel's transformation; an event that the Times referred to as a civic catharsis. I wonder if it was the Access Detroit event or the opening gala they referred to.

I'm not sure if the phrase "civic catharsis" adequately describes either event, though. A catharsis involves purging emotions, usually through some type of art. Unfortunately, as I talk to people in and around town, I still encounter all of the same negative emotions about Detroit after the hotel's opening as I did before it.

What the hotel's rebirth does do is provide a working model of how large, derelict structures can be revitalized. It provides a template to follow; one that shows up how to revitalize our community and to create sustainable jobs in the process.

The challenge, of course, is for Detroit to repeat this success with other vacant properties around town. Now that we know how to do it, the challenge is for us to keep doing it until our city is fully revitalized.

Regardless, it's nice to see that I'm not the only person who is impressed with the place.

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