cleaning up so well (jones_casey) wrote,
cleaning up so well

ancient history

in doing research at work on a michigan case (most of our cases are outside of michigan because we take on cases that crop up nationwide) i came across a 1942 decision involving an injury that occurred at hotel victory, which once stood at the corner of randolph and jefferson, where today there is an elevated train station and several shops all adjacent to the courtyard marriott and my old apartment building. it didn't look like much but it's neat to see that photo of what the buildings on that corner looked like. and a nice name, hotel victory. and even before that there was a much more impressive hotel with a much less interesting name, the biddle house, across the street on the other side of jefferson which is now part of the property where the enormous gm renaissance center is perched. there's actually a skywalk between the two areas now, just above street level. the biddle house was razed in 1937, five years before the case with the victory hotel still going strong.

i can't say i agree with the judge i saw quoted elsewhere talking about the demolition of a different detroit hotel in 1905:

'judge robert e. frazer was among those who celebrated its passing as a sacrifice for the sake of progress, writing in the news: “the ever-expanding pulsating city has outgrown it. we no longer need it, tear it down! let loose the pick and ax and crowbar; attack it at the top; let every blow contribute to its destruction. tear it down!…like all other things that stand in the way of progress it is doomed—tear it down!…what do we care for the past? it is nothing to us. we have only the present and the future. these old memories live only in sentiment. sentiment is dead.…tear it down!”'

i like progress but i favor sentiment in weighing the two.
Tags: detroit, everything else is just progress, paying for the balcony, progress, what remains, where the streets

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