Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Friday, January 13, 2006

More changes coming to the neighborhood

Several changes to buildings in the neighborhood were announced yesterday. The Fox Theatre is restoring the tower signs above the building. The owners, the Ilitches, also announced development plans for several other of their nearby buildings. For that story go to http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060113/BIZ/601130398

Of most direct interest is that the old Motown Records HQ (originally called the Donovan Building), located catty-corner over Woodward and the Freeway from St. John's, will be torn down before the Super Bowl (ie...within 2 to 3 weeks) and converted into a paved parking lot. It will eventually be developed, along with the other empty properties next to it. It is a shame to see a great old building go, but it has been empty since 1972, when Motown Records moved to California. For photos of the inside of the building in its current state of decay, go to http://www.snweb.org/donovan.php

In the last 5 years there were schemes to put a Motown Museum in the building, and make offices or lofts, but apparently the money just wasn't there, and the eyesore factor with the world media coming to Detroit for the Super Bowl was too much to delay, so down it comes. I always had a fantasy that it would make a grand school building - St. John's Academy and Prep - but I suppose that will never come to fruition since we don't have a school and won't any time soon!