DDA: Metropolitan Building has ‘rapidly deteriorating facade’ in downtown Detroit

All photos by Steve Neavling/MCM

Neglect has taken a serious toll on the 15-story, neo-Gothic Metropolitan Building in downtown Detroit.

Despite a net securing some of the facade, the ornamental building is shedding its exterior at 33 John R. We reported on Tuesday that a large chunk plunged onto a parked pickup truck.

All photos by Steve Neavling/MCM

The building is becoming a growing liability for the owner, Detroit’s Downtown Development Authority, which has left the building open to trespass.

DDA officials said they’ve been looking for a new owner but have had no luck.

“Over the course of several years, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has done a significant amount of work to stabilize the rapidly deteriorating facade of the Metropolitan Building while it has actively pursued options for restoring or renovating the structure in a way that would honor its architectural details and its history,” DDA spokesman Bob Rossbach said. “That effort continues.”

MetropolitanRossbach declined to speculate about the prospect of demolition, which preservationists say could be avoided because the building’s interior is structurally sound.

The 89-year-old  building was originally used to house jewelry retailers, dealers and manufacturers, according to historicdetroit.org. It also became known as the Jewelers Building.

There was hope that Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert would take over the property but the transaction never took place.


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.

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