Must See: Detroit's Beaux-Arts parking garage

An opulent Renaissance Revival building in downtown Detroit is being used as a parking garage.

Photo courtesy of .brianday. on Flickr
August 21, 2014

The storied Michigan Building in downtown Detroit, built in the grandiose Renaissance Revival style of the Roaring Twenties, has now been used for a while as a facility the original architects perhaps never intended it to be used as: a parking garage.

Completed in 1926 by Chicago architects Rapp & Rapp, the theater has been through many lives: a jazz concert hall, a rock concert hall, a nightclub, an office space—and now a parking garage, according to the Huffington Post.

Today, Toyotas, Hyundais, Volkswagens and a plethora of automobiles manufactured by companies from around the world—and the occasional proud Michigander’s Ford or Chevrolet—park beneath the opulent rotunda, a place where once the theatre’s most esteemed guests sat beneath a soffit heavily decorated with cartouches and acroteria that today only give a hint that it must’ve once been gilded.

The decaying theatre has been gaining some public attention lately. It was a set in Eminem’s film 8 Mile, and recently aggregate news sites like the Huffington Post have circulated a collection of images of the garage turned theatre.


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