I do that sometimes. This year I’ve already done it twice. Shit, three times, now, I guess.
Once with the Cathedral, which I did get to visit when I first came up to Detroit to scope out the area. It was probably the love I felt for the Cathedral that helped me become obsessed with my next building obsession: The Professor Haus.
Which, as you all know, I am now living in.
Now, I don’t think anything quite as dramatic will happen with this new building I’m obsessed with, but I want to tell you about it anyways, because I, of course, have researched it.
Here is a photo of it from Wikipedia. I am far too busy dreaming up plans for this place to be bothered to take a photo while we’re out and about.
So, yeah, it’s a gigantic hotel. It looks like an hinge from the direction we see it most often and what’s even better is…
It appears to be abandoned.
One day I did a Google on it because I wanted to know its story.
Welp here it is in my words.
It was built in 1976 by the same architect who designed Madison Square Garden.
You know, now big deal or anything.
At the time of its construction, it had a helipad, 800 rooms and a revolving restaurant. There was even a monorail people mover to shuttle the hotel guests between the hotel and the mall across the street.
Priorities, you know?
It originally was a Hyatt and the second-largest hotel in the entire state of Michigan. It had restaurants, bars, retail shops, conference rooms, all the things to make it useful for the fancy, important Ford folk that used to frequent it.
The closed the monorail in 1988. And since 2012, it has changed hands a few times.
Most recently, it was bought for $20 million by Xiao Hua Gong, AKA Edward Gong, and he named the 14-story hotel after himself.
The Edward Hotel and Convention Center
He didn’t do that great keeping it up from what I understand, though. In 2018, the hotel was “deemed unfit for human occupancy” by the city of Dearborn and the hotel closed.
And there it sits today, waiting for me to figure out how to buy it.
Or who even owns it now.
It was sold again in 2021 to an unknown buyer who wants to turn it into apartments.
No, please do not do that. I feel like that’s just gonna homogenize whatever magic is left in this majestic building.
Here’s an artist’s rendering of the building, monorail and mall. I bet it was something to see in its heyday. Almost a tourist attraction of its own, I’m sure.
It makes me so sad that it’s just gonna turn into some generic apartments. I bet they won’t even keep the rotating restaurant!
Here’s a pic from a Groupon in 2013 when they were trying to get some folks to stay on a deal.
What makes me even sadder is that the seller of this property was US Marshal Service (after Edward Gong failed the property and got in trouble in Canada for money laundering, the property has been owned jointly by the US & Canadian Governments).
And it made me wonder how many buildings like this – full of rooms and beds are out there right now, owned by the government and empty?
Seems like there’s an obvious potential use, doesn’t it?
I dunno why I wrote about this place today. I get excited by it everytime we drive by. It’d be a great space for a giant creative community. With over 64k feet of meeting space for events and rooms to use as mini-studios or even living spaces for artists.
And I thought the history was pretty interesting too! Are you obsessed with any buildings? Tell me all about them.