Cleveland Junior High School

Here is another post from Detroit Unseen that talks about a building that was abandoned, but then renovated.  It was really nice to see this happen and I would like to see it happen more.  Cleveland Junior High School was build in 1927 on the northeast side of Detroit, near the border of Hamtramck.  It was designed by the Donaldson and Meier architectural firm in Elizabethan style.  Cleveland is a true architectural beauty as it’s pool, gymnasium, auditorium, and library are all quite unique.  The outside front entrance of the school looks like some what like a castle.  Cleveland had 1,251 students in the 2001-2002 school year and that number had fallen to just 672 students by the 2205-2006 school year.  Cleveland was in deep trouble and finally closed it’ doors in 2009.  Cleveland Junior High School sat vacant until 2012 when a charter school bought the school.  In 2013, Cleveland Junior High School reopened as Frontier Academy.

Photo 1: The outside of Cleveland Junior High School

Photo 2: A view of the gymnasium from high above

Photo 3: The dark, no-windowed swimming pool at Cleveland

Photo 4: The auditorium at Cleveland Junior High School

Michigan Central Station

The Michigan Central Station is perhaps the most iconic abandoned building in the United States, and if not, most certainly Detroit.  It was built in 1912 and was abandoned in 1988.  Michigan Central Station is also called the “train station” because that is exactly what it was.  The Michigan Central Station began operating as Detroit’s main passenger depot in 1913 after the older Michigan Central Station burned down.  The building is of the Beaux-Arts style of architecture, designed by the Warren & Wetmore and Reed & Stem firms who also designed New York’s Grand Central Terminal.  The building is composed of two distinct parts: the train station itself and the 18-story tower. The roof height is 230 feet.  The tower was only used for office space by the Michigan Central Railroad.  The top floors were never completely furnished and served no function.  The main waiting room on the main floor has walls of marble and vaulted ceilings. The building also housed a large hall adorned with massive columns that housed the ticket office and shops. The concourse had brick walls and a large copper skylight. From here, passengers would walk down a ramp to the departing train platforms which accessed 10 through passenger tracks and one express track. Outside the shed were seven additional freight tracks.  These photos are from 2010 during one of my many explorations of Michigan Central Station.

Photo 1: Icicles hang from the ceiling of the underground parking garage.  The former underground parking structure is now a dangerous area filled with giant holes and treacherous, dark grounds.  Many homeless people used to hang out down there, but not so much anymore.  This used to be the only way into the train station for many years.  If you didn’t have a flashlight, you might as well forget going this way!

Photo 2:  One of the main hallways shows natural light and some of the marble walls and vaulted ceiling.

Photo 3: The main lobby.  This overshot picture is often said to be the “face” of urban decay.

Photo 4: The massive columns, both square and cylinder, line the are that connects the main lobby to the concourse.  You can barely see the ticket office through the columns on the left.

Photo 5:  The concourse are where passengers would load and unload from the passenger trains.

Highland Park Police Station

When I first got a chance to explore the old Highland Park Police Station, I was extremely excited.  Oddly enough, it wasn’t because of all of this evidence, but rather because it was my first ever police station.  The only downfall of exploring Highland Park Police Station first was that it was by far the greatest police station that I would ever explore, so it set the “bar” rather high.  I have since been able to explore multiple abandoned police stations, but nothing ever matched or compared to Highland Park Police Station.  The location was phenomenal because of all of the items that were not only surprisingly, but down-right shockingly, left behind in the building.  I often reflect back on the Highland Park Police Station and realize just how crazy it was.  The Highland Park Police Station had everything left behind that any police station would have when it was functional!  It is one of my all-time favorite locations that I have ever explored.  Just like most of the locations that no longer exists, my only regret is not getting in one last time before it was demolished in 2011. Well, at least I am somewhat comforted (not really) by the fact that I did make the effort but I was busted by Highland Park’s finest on my last attempt in 2011 and had to unfortunately abort the urbex mission.  The above pictures are from my first trip into Highland Park Police Station in 2009.  They show some of the wild evidence that was left behind in the “Evidence Room.”  Enjoy and don’t forget to check out Detroit Unseen on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Photo 1: If you read closely, you will see that this evidence tag tells a bit of a story. It is a bloody, right-handed, green mitten that was found in a vacant field on a John Doe that was murdered in a homicide in 1998. SERIOUSLY!!! :(

Photo 2:  Here we see photos of some cars that were impounded by Highland Park Police because they were stolen vehicles.

Photo 3: A knife used in a 2003 stabbing incident.

Photo 4: Some evidence packages that were used to “store” hair and saliva.

East Catholic High School/St. Anthony High School

St. Anthony High School, also known as East Catholic High School, was located on the east side of Detroit.  The school building was built in 1923 and 1926 and was originally St. Anthony’s High School because it was a part of St. Anthony’s Church.  By 2005 only 124 students were enrolled and East Catholic High School was closed at the end of the 2006 school year.  East Catholic High School was demolished in 2012 after being scrapped of nearly all of its metal and furnishings.  I was lucky enough to have got in on my first exploration of East Catholic in 2010, when it still had most of it’s stuff still in it.  In less than two years, East Catholic High School was blown-out wide open for anyone to come in and take a look around.

Photo 1: Buckled gymnasium floor

Photo 2: Books still in the library

Photo 3: Desks still in a classroom

Photo 4: The auditorium stage

Sanders Confectionery Headquarters

The Sanders Confectionery Headquarters was located on Oakman Boulevard in Highland Park.  The Sanders Confectionery Company was started in Detroit in 1875.  It was famous for it’s chocolate, candy, sweets, and ice cream-sodas.  It was destroyed by a large fire in 2012.  But, of course, Detroit Unseen was able to explore this 100,000 square foot monster before it was gone.  When I first gained access to the location in 2009, I had no idea that it was former the Sanders Confectionery Headquarters until I found signs hanging, painting, paperwork, documents, and actual chocolate and candy flavoring in the building.  

Photo 1: A Sanders sign hangs in the gallery

Photo 2: The flour and cake mixing bins

Photo 3: Plants are growing in the sunlight in former factory section

Photo 4: The exterior and facade of the Sanders Confectionery Headquarters

Ford Auditorium

The Ford Auditorium was an auditorium was constructed in 1955 and was built on the riverfront in downtown Detroit.  The Ford Auditorium served as a home to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) for more than thirty years and was an integral part of the city’s Civic Center.  The Ford Auditorium was demolished July 2011 as part of the city’s waterfront redesign plans.  So, quite sadly it was only open for about 50 years.  Before it was tragically demolished, Detroit Unseen got a chance to explore this magnificent piece of history.  

Photo 1: The main stage from the upper balcony

Photo 2: The film and process room

Photo 3: One of the projectors, complete  with “SAVE THE FORD AUD” etched on the outside

Photo 4: The dressing rooms

Photo 5: The July 2011 demolition 

Schroeder Paint & Glass

Schroeder Paint & Glass was a former warehouse and factory that supplied paint and glass supplies to the a once thriving auto mobile industry here in Detroit.  Henry Ford Hospital recently purchased many of the vacant lots south of West Grand Blvd across the street from the main hospital.  Henry Ford Hospital has demolished Schroeder Paint & Glass to make way for their new medical storage facility.

Arnold Home

The Arnold Home was one of those spots that was pretty cool when you first explored it, simply because of the fact that the Arnold Home workers had left everything behind when they closed it’s doors for good.over a decade ago.  The Arnold Home was a retirement/nursing home for Detroit residents.  It was located on the west side of Detroit off of 7 Mile Road.  I first got the chance to explore it when I happened to drive by the mammoth building.  The Arnold Home was easily seen from 7 Mile Road and it looked like a giant mansion from the distance, complete with 4 full floors and big white colonial-style columns on the front porch.  I decided to drive around the building, until I found a place to enter from a side street.  I was amazed when I first entered the building and I saw all of the medication and medical supplies that were just simply sitting out in plain sight.  I snapped like 1,000 pictures and couldn’t wait to go back.  I ended up exploring it like three or four times that week in 2008.  I was able to make it back several other times over the years, but each time I came back, the Arnold Home seemed to have less and less.  Not to mention that the building’s condition was worsening by the day.  I always thought that I would be able to make it back anytime I wanted, but after two scrappers were killed there, I didn’t have the same desire.  It was moved to the back burner and then of course, a death-fence showed up one day around the Arnold Home.  I knew then it was coming down soon and I never made it back.  That was back in 2012 and it was finally demolished in 2013.

Pic 1: A nurse’s station

Pic 2: A nice painting has fallen to the floor

Pic 3: One of the tv/lounge rooms

Pic  4: Room #177

Pic 5: A “death report”

Pic 6: Italian scenery on the main hallway wall

Masonic Temple

I got a lot of hits, re-blogs, and likes on the latest post of the Masonic Temple, so I decided I would do another post on it.  It is two days until Detroit legend Jack White will be playing on the stage in picture #4 and I know people couldn’t be happier.  He is coming home to play in front of his homies in the beautiful theater that is now partly named after him.  Jack White deserves every bit of it!  He is truly the reason that anyone gets to play at the Masonic Temple today, after he saved it from foreclosure and doom over a year ago.  Jack White is the man and I will make it to the concert myself, although from a little distance.  So here you lovely people and Detroit Unseen fans go; here is another post and some more pictures from the gorgeous Detroit Masonic Temple.  Check out Detroit Unseen on Facebook and Twitter for more Detroit pictures.  Enjoy!

Pic 1: Mason shields protect the doorway looking back toward the main entrance from the large lobby area

Pic 2: A rare look into the beautiful brass and ornate elevator 

Pic 3:  Looking up to the second floor balcony and the elevator waiting area in the main lobby

Pic 4: The main stage at the Masonic Temple

Masonic Temple

I thought that Detroit Unseen would post another segment on the Masonic Temple because Detroit-born rocker Jack White will be performing at the Masonic Temple on July 30th.  A couple of years ago, the Masonic Temple was in deep trouble and facing vacancy because it was in foreclosure.  Jack White saved the Masonic Temple by paying off it’s debts and now it’s doing better than ever.  The Masonic Temple is hosting concerts, plays, graduations, sporting events, theatrical productions, and other special events.  I was very lucky and fortunate enough to explore this mammoth location.  This was reported by the Detroit Free Press in June last year about this:  Jack White has been outed as the anonymous or who paid the $142,000 in taxes needed by Detroit’s Masonic Temple to stave off FORECLOSURE, the Detroit Free Press reports today. The Temple’s Cathedral Theater will be renamed the Jack White Theater in the rocker’s honor.  ”Jack’s donation could not have come at a better time and we are eternally grateful to him for it,” said Roger Sobran, president of the Detroit Masonic Temple Association. “Jack’s magnanimous generosity and unflinching loyalty to this historic building and his Detroit roots is appreciated beyond words.”  I personally thank Jack White for helping to save some of Detroit’s history and preventing yet another historic abandoned building.

Pic 1: Main Entrance/Lobby to the Masonic Temple

Pic 2: Sword-wielding masons protect the stairway

Pic 3: One of the Grand rooms connected to the lobby, complete with a picture of George Mason?

Pic 4: The Crystal Ballroom entrance