Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Thesis Update

By Drew Baldwin

I presented my first set of information and findings on my thesis last Monday. One of the topics that kept coming up was that I needed to do more research, on top of all the research I had already done. One of the major reasons for this is there are two buildings on my site in Detroit, the Eddystone and Park Avenue hotels (pictured below), which are listed in the National Historic Registry, meaning they basically can’t be torn without consent from the government. The problem is that there is a lot of speculation as to what could happen with the two buildings whether they get torn down or renovated into either apartments or a new hotel, but no one really knows what’s going to happen with the two.
The hotels have a pretty rich history as part of downtown Detroit; they were two of three hotels commissioned by Lew Tuller and designed by Louis Kamper along Park Avenue making up the Park Avenue District. The Park Avenue Hotel had a stint as the harbor light center during the 50’s and 60’s, which was housing for recovering drug addicts; since that time, it has been left to the elements alongside the Hotel Eddystone. Another issue which plays directly into the fate of these two buildings is the construction of the new Red Wings stadium, located right next to the site of the two hotels. The new stadium is commissioned and owned by the Illitch brothers who also own the two hotels as they fall on the same land.
At the moment, there has been recent news that the Hotel Park Avenue will have to be torn down as it sits too close to the arena and interferes with homeland security laws regarding proximity to the arena. Even with this recent news, there is still no definite answer as to what will come of the two buildings. Throughout the whole process of deciding what to do with the two, there has been opposition on both sides whether it’s tearing them down or keeping them and rehabilitating them to either a more modern complex or to their original luster. So as for my research on my thesis, this issue, which is the biggest hang up on my overall process, only scratches the surface as to what I need to research to have a successful outcome for my overall thesis proposal. In my next blog, I may talk about some of the other research I’ve been doing pertaining to Detroit and what I want to incorporate into my site and designs.

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