Vacant ice-cream store with iconic cow head up for sale in Detroit – for a lot

This vacant building at Mack and Lenox is for sale. Photo by Steve Neavling.
This vacant building at Mack and Lenox is for sale. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker

Want to buy a Detroit landmark?

A former ice-cream store featuring a giant cow head on Detroit’s east side is up for sale.

The price tag – $89,000. That’s more than a Taylor company purchased Michigan Central Station in the 1990s.

The small, abandoned building sits on a largely vacant stretch of Mack Avenue about six blocks east of Conner. Many of the residential streets surrounding the building are dotted with vacant lots, buildings and houses.

lIra Wilson & Sons Dairy opened in the 1950s, selling ice cream, candy and baked goods at a time when factory jobs were plentiful and neighborhoods were full. The building later became Dairy Ann, C&P Ice Cream and a barbecue joint.

The iconic cow was featured on Eminem’s 8 Mile movie. His character blasted the cow with a pink paintball.

At a much larger building on the west side, Ira Wilson & Sons Dairy mounted a large cow head on a billboard in the late 1950s. But the head was removed.

The sale price was first reported by Curbed Detroit.

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.

  • Yeah, they are asking way too much! I wrote about this building a few years back At least they cleaned up the gang graffiti before putting a for sale sign on it.

  • Dongald Trumpenis

    Detroit, are you ready for Quicken Loans Malt Shop? That’s what Dantroit Gilbert is planning?

  • javierjuanmanuel

    Ambitious price.

    If it does not sell, i am pretty sure the cow head is custom and has to be worth 3-5k alone.

    That would be awesome on any butcher shop, ice cream, dairy, burger joint. As long as other towns allow for its display, i hope they can sell it, and we can see it newly painted on a new roof.

    That spot is just not good for any of the above businesses in general, and that building is two small. The area cannot support a season store like ice cream, to small for burgers.

    I think if they get an offer for 25k, they would be wise to take it