DetroitPhoto Du JourWindsor

2006 – The Year In Review

As I have been doing for the last several years (the 2005 Review is here, 2004, 2003), I try to recap the buildings that have been lost over the past year, and present them as a summary.

This house in Windsor went up in flames to an arsonist early in the Summer of 2006. Located on Chappus & Reed Streets in Windsor’s rapidly vanishing Brighton Beach neighborhood, the house isn’t much of an architectural wonder, but it was the newest and best kept house of the remaining properties in Brighton Beach. You can now count the remaining buildings in the neighborhood on one hand…

The end of summer also saw the demolition of another vacant retail hulk in Downtown Windsor.

The Veteran Plumbing Building, vacant since they moved to the south end of the city and serious disrepair, was removed in August. The site is vacant and leaves a huge hole in the density of the Wyandotte St. streetscape.

The President’s Club, formerly Rum Runner’s, formerly the Lido, formerly the Lido Venice, formerly the Chappel House, bit the dust with a fire early in 2006. Built in 1903, and designed by the Williams Brothers architects, the building had a long an colorful history. Click here for the story.

The former John Sheldon Central Chrysler dealership was demolished in November 2006.

The 1890’s era house of the Hiram Walker Farms Manager. The farms were located at Walker and Tecumseh roads. The house had been vacant for about a decade, and when a new out of town property owner came in the the picture, they promptly had the listed building demolished.

March saw the demolition of the former Champion Sparkplug factory on Howard Avenue.

The sawtooth roofed factory was demolished, and a new retail store is currently being erected on the site.

Windsor wasn’t alone in the 2006 Demolition Derby. Detroit fueled by the Superbowl in February 2006 also knocked down a few buildings.

The former Motown Headquarters Building on Woodward @ I-75. Vacant since Berry Gordy split to the west coast.

The building full of Motown documents and history was brought down for a gravel lot.

Over on Watson Ave. just east of Woodward was the former home of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts building, an important early cultural building in Detroit’s Art history, was leveled in time for Superbowl. Lots more about the building can be found: here, here, here and here.

March also saw the end of the waterfront Medusa Cement Silos. Not a lot of tears were shed over the Medusa Silos, but I always liked the neon sign up top.

Also lost towards the end of summer was the Broadway & Randolph Mural. The Lafer Building pictured here is undergoing rehab, but sadly the large mural on the side wall as well as all the old advertisements on the rear were painted over.

Let’s hope 2007 fares better for the built heritage of the Border Cities.

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