Photo Du Jour – December 19, 2005 – Three Years of Slumpy

Over the past several years, I have slowly watched the deterioration of the William Livingstone House on Eliot St. in Brush Park.

The photo above (from The Buildings Of Detroit, by W. H. Ferry) shows the home in better days.

Here it is in August 2002. The turret hardly has any slump, and the Terra-cotta around the doorway is still largely intact.

June 2003, things are starting to go south for the house. The facing on the turret has started to shift and slump. Also the entire terra-cotta doorway surround is now missing. Also a small stress crack has become visible around the small window above the door.

February 2005. Plywood has appeared to cover the windows, but a hole has developed in the roof, and the stress cracks have spread. Metal banding has also made an appearance in an attempt to secure the facade of the building to the structure.

August 2005, the slump is a little worse and the hole is still in the roof unrepaired.

December 2005, the slump worsens. The plywood has popped out of the second floor windows due to the slump. Also some more stone facing has fallen off the main floor turret.

Slumpy’s slumping hard these days, and I’m still not convinced she’ll make it to spring without dumping her facade.

I’m sure both Mason & Rice who designed this beauty in 1893 are spinning in their graves.

Slump on!

6 Comments on Photo Du Jour – December 19, 2005 – Three Years of Slumpy

  1. How can one respect people who let a magnificent building like that deteriorate beyond all hope of restoration? When I look at an abandoned home in this state, I have to wonder what the original occupants would think if they saw it today. Surely, someone was VERY proud to call this home at one time. How does sh*t like this happen?

  2. This house, the Livingstone house, was originally immediately adjacent to the Prismatic Club on Eliot, closer to Woodward. The land was purchased by the Red Cross and they had plans to demolish this house to make way for their new Blood Center. A local fraternity purchased the house from the Red Cross for $1 with the understanding that it would be moved off site. The intent was to renovate the house into 4 separate flats – one for each floor, then rent the space to students. The house was documented by a local architect prior to the move then the movers came in did their thing.

    I’m not sure the reasons why, but it sat for a long period of time with the wood cribbing underneath it which was left by the movers. Eventually someone came in and built just enough of a foundation to support the house so the cribbing could be removed.

    The irony is that this house was moved to save it from demolition, and here it sits, doing what someone tried to do to it 13 years ago.

  3. Same house in 1983, when still at original location on Eliot-

    Same house in 1998, shortly before being moved from the original site-

    The William Livingston house, completed in 1893, was one of the earliest known efforts of Albert Kahn, who designed the facade while working for the office of Mason and Rice. Its renaissance revival character demonstrates what Kahn had learned on the European tour that he had just completed. He was 23 at the time.

    Originally this building sat on Eliot Street in Brush Park, Detroit, but was moved one block east in (I think) the late 1990’s. At that point the building was abandoned, and perched on its substandard foundations it gradually began to slump and become derelict. After the collapse of its fa├žade in the summer 2007, the building was demolished on September 15th, 2007.

  4. Later the slump worsens and a few plywood fell out and the arch window is falling apart.Next the front windows right of the door fell with a wall and the slump worsened a little the hole in the roof is still on there and some wall are about to fall due to stress and later the house was demolished and thats the end of poor slumpy.

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