Relic of Detroit’s booming 1920s imploded to make way for Red Wings arena

Demolition mural

The 13-story Hotel Park Avenue, a one-time lavish attraction from the booming 1920s that later became a rehab center for drug addicts, was imploded Saturday morning to make way for a loading dock for the new Red Wings arena that is under construction.

About 200 pounds of TNT reduced the Italian Renaissance-inspired building to rubble, sending a thick, blinding wall of dust and soot over the lower Cass Corridor.

The demolition ends a tense few months between preservationists and Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration.

The $450 million arena is expected to open in 2017.

All photos by Steve Neavling. 

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Soot covers a flower near the demolition site.
Soot covers a flower near the demolition site.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Bruce Channell

    For seasoned veterans of implosions like myself,I learned after the 1st time to go upwind of the implosion to avoid any unhealthy particles of dust,asbestos,etc.I posted up,to the West,of the Park Avenue Hotel as the wind was blowing out of the WNW @ 4MPH.The dust cloud drifted over Woodward and the Fox Theater.Anyone in that vicinity learned a lesson today and hopefully won’t do it again,if or when,should another building receives the implosion treatment.