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Hotel Ste. Claire: 1906

Hotel Ste. Claire: 1906

Detroit circa 1906. "Hotel Ste. Claire, Randolph and Monroe streets." Completed 1893, razed in the 1930s. Note signs advertising CHOP SUEY and CHOP SOY. Panorama made from two 8x10 inch glass negatives. View full size.


Flag Poles

Why does the hotel have 4 flagpoles near the top? is that to display banners?

Chop Suey signs

I also notice Finster, Zanger, Kratz and Mittenthal.

And in the distance

You can see the straight, proud spire of St Josephat Catholic church which was opened in 1901. Only now it's sometime known as St Bananaphat due to high winds a few years ago nearly taking the spire down. After a large money raising effort to save this landmark for many travelling down I-75, it is standing proud again, but not *quite* as straight.
At certain points when travelling toward Detroit, the tall spire and two minor ones line up perferctly with the RenCen(GM headquarters) giving one a kind of "now and then" feeling.

Henry the Hatter

The store offering men's hats and caps, in the extreme lower left of the picture, may be the current location of Detroit's oldest hat store, Henry the Hatter. They started in 1893, the same year the Ste. Clair opened. At the time of the picture, though, they were still several blocks (and several moves) away from opening in this location - makes me wonder if it was always a hat store.


Whoever had to run the flags out on those topmost flagpoles got extra hazard pay. They look impossible to reach.

Goodbye Detroit!

My great-grandparents left Detroit in the winter of 1906 for Santa Barbara, Calif., because my great-grandmother suffered from TB and couldn't take the harsh winters. It's not difficult to imagine that they are in this neighborhood somewhere doing some final errands before their departure. My great-grandmother died that year at the age of 28. My great-grandfather returned to Detroit only once over the next 40 years. He just had no use for the city.

Clarification for Detroit Tony

Must interject that the Victorian cornices and gingerbread on Detroit's downtown buildings were largely removed in the late fifties/eary sixties, due to the fact that they were falling off and beaning passers-by. I seem to recall at least one fatality. Whatever, Detroit's freezing and thawing winter weather boded ill for the fancy stonework up above.

Beal Building

The 8 story structure to the left is the Beal Building. Permitted in 1905 costing 120,000 to build,it was nearly new in this picture.The masonry outer column window treatment looks overwrought in the photo but better in other light conditions. It must cost a fortune to HVAC the place.

Detroit Electric

"Looks like an interurban car preceding the other 2."
Most likely a Detroit Electric interurban. They operated a 600 mile system centered in Detroit. Went as far north as Flint and Port Huron and south to Toledo, Ohio

A Bit Changed Today

While the hotel is gone a few others down the block are still there. The building next to it has been modified and is now (well, as of opening in 2012) the largest Buffalo Wild Wings in the U.S. We lost a lot of downtown Detroit character when in the 1950s a program was enacted to remove cornices and "gingerbread" in the name of modernization.

Chop Soy

Presumably, the vegan version of chop suey?

Going Round the Bend!

Looks like an interurban car preceding the other 2.

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