Abandoned theatre in Detroit, now a parking garage

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I was here less than a year ago. At the end of this post are links to two photos I took from that trip. This is indeed the Michigan. I’m a journalist from D.C. and was in Pontiac for a story. We swung into Detroit for a day to check things out while we were nearby. I had heard about this and wanted to see it, but realized the only way to access the garage was if you worked in the office.

We tried to just walk into the garage via the office (they’re connected), and we quickly got chewed out by the security guard working the front desk. We practically begged him to let us see it. He reluctantly agreed but added a caveat: we could go into the garage and look around, but he’d call the police in 5 minutes if we hadn’t exited by then. I guess they got lots of looky loos and were sick of it. I thought he was bluffing but played by the rules anyway.

Anyway, it looks pretty much like the picture, and it’s super sad walking around. It’s a bit more decrepit than it would seem from the photos and it just seems like the whole structure was going to collapse at any moment.

On a side note, after we left the garage, we wandered around the office building a bit. It was one of the the most bizarre experiences I’ve ever had. The interior was dilapidated and filthy, and I’m pretty sure people were living it. We popped in to an office that was labeled as a medical supply business, and when we opened the door, there were just soiled mattresses on the floor. Lots of bizarre characters roaming the office too, and there didn’t appear to be any normal companies in it. The dichotomy was very jarring: here we were in a tall downtown office building in the middle of the day, yet I felt unsafe at the same time.

Also, a neat bit of trivia: on the side of the office building is a plaque saying this is the site where Henry Ford built his first car. The actual garage he built it in has been moved to another location, but this is the space where the garage stood at some point in time.

I’ll be Detroit for work again next month, so I’m looking forward to finding some other stuff for you guys.

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