The Hotel Charlevoix on downtown Detroit’s famed Park Avenue is finally going to meet its conclusion. The city of Detroit has ordered its demolition to be completed within 45 days, after the Detroit Historic Commission denied the request by owner Ralph Sachs last year.
Sachs has allowed this 108-year-old building to rot over the past three decades, and has plans to make this area just what Detroit needs: another glamorous parking lot, reports Curbed Detroit.
As of late, the building is known locally for throwing bricks at passersby – and most notably, onto the car of a Bucharest employee last year.
Detroit 2020 has named Sachs as one of the city’s worst blight offenders, having watched the Charlevoix become a gutted and dangerous monstrosity since acquiring the property.
Emotions are mixed about the hotel’s destruction, since it is, after all, a 108-year-old piece of Detroit history; but it’s become such a hazardous eyesore that there really isn’t anywhere to go from here.
"While I am a hard-core preservationist, a building-hugger, you might say, it is simply not possible to save every last building in Detroit. In a city with no shortage of endangered historic structures, we must concentrate on what I like to call "architectural triage." Is the Charlevoix beautiful? Not really. Is it in good condition? No, far from. Is there anything historic about it besides its age? No. Is there any of its original character or splendor? It doesn't even have a staircase, and its insides were plastered with fake wood paneling. Was it by a noteworthy architect? No.
"A renovation of the Charlevoix would easily be a $40 million-plus project. There isn't a line of billionaires looking to throw down that kind of coin on a building in Detroit like the Charlevoix.
"In an ideal world, would the Charlevoix be saved? Yes. But in an ideal world, it never would have been abandoned in the first place. In an ideal world, its negligent owner would have been held accountable by the city before the building could become such an eyesore and such a threat to public safety.
"So yes, the Charlevoix's demise is sad. But frankly, I believe we should be more angry. Let the Charlevoix serve as a lesson going forward that the city must hold property owners accountable before more storied pieces of Detroit's storied past get beyond the point of no return."
Shame on Ralph Sachs for perpetuating Detroit’s blight, desolation and disfigurement, and standing idly by as a property that he “invested” in so many years ago went to the birds. Detroit has enough problems, negligent and careless property owners should not be one of them.