Pasadena Apartments

It’s been a while since I have featured any older Apartment Buildings on the site, and as anyone who drives around the city knows, that’s one thing were not in short supply of in Windsor.

This one is one of my personal favouites. Located at 1424 Wyandotte St. E. the Pasadena Apartments were built around 1915-1920, when the rest of this stretch of Wyandotte St. started to boom.

There are great architectural elements on this building (even the iron balconette survived!), and other than the remuddling of the ground floor retail space, the building is in great condition. From the outside it looks good, anyone ever been inside?

Imeson Antiques

One of the most historic and intact commercial storefronts in the city is located at 1506 Wyandotte St. E. The Edwardian commercial building built in 1915, was originally a Trott’s Shoes, and for many years was the home of Posteroptics.

The owners of Posteroptics retired last year, and the building was put of for sale. Every time a historic and intact storefront switches hands I cringe. Over the last several years many original storefronts along Ouellette Ave. downtown have been horribly remodeled, and many original historic elements of the storefronts were lost. In some cases the buildings were stuccoed over.

In many cases, the post renovation facades were unrecognizable. At one time the right side of this building looked like the left half. I was very happy to hear that the building was purchased by local heritage home owners, and would be reopened as an antique store, and kept in it’s original condition.

Dan Imeson previously owned and operated the Imeson Collection in the Imperial Building just east of the Kildare House. After taking a few years off, it’s great to see him return to Walkerville.

Elsmere Followup

If you’ll remeber back on March 13th, I covered two houses on Elsmere that were destined to become parking lots for Erie Street.

I drove by last week and noticed that they had been stripped of their siding and railings, and were prepped for demolition.

I drove by again the other day, and nothing remained but two holes in the ground. At least the tree appears safe for now, and kudos to whoever decided to salvage the metal off the buildings. I’m not sure if it was the City’s initiative or the contractor’s but at least they kept some of the needless demolition of these two perfectly good houses out of the landfill.

Walkerville Publishing

So, on to the reason for the Walkerville Theatre being open on Sunday… Walkerville Publishing held an open house, with a great display of Walkerville’s history, and the launch of the 2007 Holiday issue of the Walkerville Times.

Chris Edwards the publisher poses beside his local history display. Chris put on this display earlier this year in Willistead Manor during Art in the Park.

Elaine Week, Managing Editor shows off the table of local publications that Walkerville Publishing has released over the last few years.

Set up all over the main floor of the historic Walkerville Theatre, the Times’ display of historic photographs was a sight to behold. It’s a shame that they went from publishing bi-monthly to once a year.

Be sure to look out for the current edition of the Walkerville Times, if you are having a hard time finding one, they are available at the Walkerville Publishing offices 420 Devonshire Rd in the old Post Office. Make you you check out the article on a certain someone’s exhibition on Modern Architecture that got the coveted “centerfold” position…. :)

While you’re down there at the offices picking up your free copy of the Walkerville Times, be sure to check out the great deal on the local history books. The Best of the Times, and Postcards from the Past, buy them individually or get them both as a package for only $50.00. They make a great Christmas gift for the local history fan on your list, or even for yourself… Browse around their little shop. There are all kinds of interesting items available for sale.

Walkerville Theatre

Yesterday was the 5th annual Walkerville Holiday Walkabout. One on Wyandotte Street’s grandest buildings was even open. The Walkerville Theatre designed by renown theatre Architect C. Howard Crane in 1918, and built in 1920, had it’s doors open to the public for the first time in a while.

The photo above comes from the May 1921 issue of The Michigan Architect and Engineer.

Surprisingly this grand old movie theatre has spent the majority of its life in alternate uses. Since being built for Vaudeville and movies, the building has also been a bingo parlor and a night club. Comparing the original photo to the present day, you can see that the large window on the second floor has been altered, as well the cornice is gone as is the stone coping along the roofline, and a decorative keystone. However, that being said the building is still in great shape, both outside and inside…

Looking to the right of the stage and the second floor boxes, the interior of the auditorium is in amazing condition.

The stage has been expanded, and the last time I was in the building a few years ago was to see a local theatre production of the Odd Couple. To be honest I only attended because I wanted to see the inside, and to check out C. Howard Crane’s fabled acoustics… The sound traveled very well. Crane was well know for producing near acoustically perfect auditoriums. It was a treat to see live theatre inside a classic theatre.

Looking back toward the balcony from the stage area.

The second floor mezzanine behind the balcony.

In the balcony, many of the original architectural design elements remain.

A general view of the balcony.

A fish-eyed panorama of the auditorium from the balcony.

A view of the auditorium from the projection booth. This shot was taken out of one of the projector slots.

Looking back towards the balcony from one of the side boxes.

A view of the backstage area. The dressing rooms were located in the basement.

The door frames have retained their original elements. As you can see by the posters on the door, the building will be open for a new year’s eve party.

Here are the details of the benefit party, if anyone is interested in attending New Year’s at the Walkerville Theatre.

Joan Charette is involved in the Walkerville BIA and is the agent who is listing the theatre for sale. Asking price is only $549,900… Looks like I’m only about $549,000 short… :)

For the right buyer though, the theatre could be quite a bargain… Hopefully it returns to public service soon, it would be great to see some events happening down here. With the recent loss of the Capitol, there is certainly a niche to fill in the city with regards to performance space.

2008 Detroit Historical Photo Calendar

If you are looking for that unique gift for that local history fan on your list (or just a great gift for yourself), don’t look any farther than Rob’s 2008 Detroit Historical Calendar.

This is one of those projects that has been started by a local history fan, who’s put many years of work and effort into his personal project. I am always more than happy to shine the spotlight on any worthwhile local projects, and this Calendar now in the third year for this project, more than fits the bill.

13 historic photographs of Detroit, many of which are being published for the first time, in addition to the 200+ historical dates noted and compiled through Rob’s research. Rob is a life long Detroiter and his passion for all things Detroit is evident in the quality of his work.

We’re always talking about supporting the little guy, and here’s your chance to support an independent project that has been created solely out of someone’s passion for local history.

Like last year the calendar is only $9.99 US (actually that makes it even cheaper than last year! :))…

The calendar just went on sale earlier this week, and I was talking with Rob, who told me that several readers purchased copies last year.

Like last year there are two ways to get your hands on a copy of this great calendar.

1 Pop over to Rob’s eBay page where he has the calendar for sale as a buy it now. If there isn’t a copy available, shoot him an email, and he’ll list another copy for you.


2 – Click over to Rob’s website The Detroit Room, and click on the CALENDAR section for contact information. Or just send him an email about buying copy.

Get your copy now before they sell out (I bought my copy on Tuesday), and support a quality local history project. I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed with the calendar and before the year is up, you will have learnt something you didn’t know about Detroit’s glorious past. When you buy your copy, please make sure and let Rob know that you were sent his way from

Bridge Tavern

The westside landmark Bridge Tavern was recently closed down, after liquor inspectors discovered they were operating without a license.

It’s always sad to see a long time business close its doors.

I’m not sure how long the Bridge Tavern has been around, but it shows up as the “Bridge Ave. Hotel” on the 1937 maps. My guess the building is somewhere in the neighbourhood of around 100 years of age.

Hopefully, someone will come in and take over the business and turn the ship around.

Early 1950’s

A few more from the Bernie Drouillard Collection. Thanks again to John and Bernie for digitizing and sharing some of this massive collection.

S.W. & A. # 216. Photo taken in 1951 at the Terminal at Tecumseh & Drouillard, across from Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant. Likely taken at shift change.

# 608 – Photo is dated December 1955. It was taken on University Ave. (then London St.) looking east. The late Heintzman Building is visible as is the Windsor Armouries to the rear. The Heintzman Building was demolished along with the orignal Palace Theatre in January 1986.