Detroit's Book Cadillac Hotel to be Reborn

[Photo: Photo of past and future grandeur]
Then and now- the Book Cadillac Hotel sports a banner highlighting past and future grandeur.

Detroit's Book Cadillac Hotel was recently removed from the endangered list with the announcement of $18,000,000 in Section 108 Loan Guarantee funds as part of a $168,000,000 renovation. HUD's Regional Director Joseph P. Galvan joined the developer, John Ferchill, head of the Cleveland-based Ferchill Group, Detroit's Mayor Kwamee Kilpatrick and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to announce the project in the Detroit Athletic Club Ballroom. In his remarks, Mr. Galvan stated:

"We are committed to rebuilding our nation's cities and neighborhoods and promoting economic development and job growth. As we celebrate this victory over one of the most blighted areas of downtown Detroit, I bring their (HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson and U.S. President George W. Bush's) congratulations and best wishes to all of you who have worked to make this project a reality."

Built in 1923 at a cost of over $14,000,000, the Book Cadillac was the shiniest jewel in Detroit's crown. At 33 stories in height and with three basements, the Book Cadillac was not only the tallest building in Detroit, it was the tallest building in the world, and "the" place to stay in Detroit. The Book Cadillac Hotel played host to Joe Lewis, President John F. Kennedy, Gloria Swanson, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Katherine Hepburn, Babe Ruth, and many other notables.

The Book Cadillac Hotel stood vacant since the mid 1980s. It was stripped of its interior architectural features, the site of a number of fires, home to vagrants, and the subject of demolition discussions. However, on June 27, 2006, the Ferchill Group, National City Bank, the City of Detroit, the State of Michigan, and the Federal government came together and pledged their time and money to save a piece of history. These partners joined forces to renovate the 33-story historic structure into 455 hotel rooms, 66 market-rate condominiums, 119,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 31,000 square foot state-of-the-art conference center, a fitness facility, and 550 parking spaces, creating more than 450 full-time jobs. The Book Cadillac will truly be a beacon for others to follow.

Content Archived: July 29, 2011