Commissioner wants to end ‘Drag Queen Story Hour,’ downtown gem preserved: Tuesday briefing

These are Tuesday’s top stories:

Long-vacant Metropolitan Building to open as hotel soon

Metropolitan Building (center) in downtown Detroit before it was renovated. Photo by Steve Neavling.

The long-vacant, 15-story Metropolitan Building, which was at risk of demolition about five years ago, is set to soon reopen as a hotel in downtown Detroit after a $33 million renovation. 

The opening of the Element Hotel ends four decades of abandonment at the Gothic-style building, which had been falling apart and open to trespass. In May 2014, debris fell from the neglected building and crashed onto the roof of a truck.  

On Monday, city officials and developers gave the media a tour of the fully restored, 93-year-old building at 33 John R., just east of Woodward. 

The hotel is part of the Marriott International’s Starwood Collection and features 110 rooms, meeting and retail space, three restaurants, a cocktail lounge. 

The hotel was originally set to open in the summer of 2018. 

City commissioner incensed over ‘Drag Queen Story Time’

A popular children’s story hour hosted by drag performers at a public library in Huntington Woods is facing fierce opposition from a city commissioner, some local residents and national anti-gay groups. 

The Drag Queen Story Time event at the Huntington Woods Library began in late 2017. 

In recent months, opponents began complaining that the story hour is confusing for children and called for the event to be ended.

In an email obtained by the Detroit Free Press, Huntington Woods City Commissioner Allison Iversen questioned a library official about why it is “wise to expose our young children to such clearly provocative, controversial, ‘unabashedly queer’ demonstration of diversity.”

“Children are innocent beings, and we, as a society, should not be banding together to preserve that innocence for as long as possible,” Iversen wrote, adding, “young children should not be prematurely exposed to topics their little underdeveloped brains are not yet ready to process.” 

Firefighters discover dead body in basement of home

Detroit firefighters found a dead body Tuesday morning in the basement of a burning home. 

The discovery at E. Winchester and Hull was made at 9 a.m.

Police described the victim as a man in his 40s.  

The house was initially reported as vacant. It wasn’t immediately clear if the man, who was partially burned, was alive or dead when the fire broke out. 

Police are investigating. 

Motor City Muckraker is an independent watchdog without advertisements. Your donations help us continue providing vigorous, nonpartisan investigations.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for breaking news and investigative reports.

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.