March 05, 2020
Michigan Building Parking Structure.
Photo by Dan Austin, Historic Detroit.
You read that correctly. The movie palace, the only theater in Michigan designed by Rapp & Rapp, once was a 4,000 seat display of opulence and grandeur. (The rare, five-manual, Wurlitzer theater organ was sold to Fred Hermes of Racine, Wisconsin in 1956 where he installed it in his home.)
After being used (unsuccessfully) as a dinner and a movie theater, it became a rock 'n' roll venue where vandals sealed its fate. A three-story parking garage was built inside the old theater, the ceiling still showing its days as one of Detroit's most opulent theaters.
Historic Detroit also points out that the site once was the location of Henry Ford's home. The home included a small building where he built his first car, the Quadracycle, in 1896. (Mr. Ford later moved the building to his Dearborn museum.) Only in Detroit could the site of the first Ford automobile be turned into an automobile parking lot.