Fort Shelby Hotel

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Fort Shelby Hotel
FortShelbyDoubletreeDetroit.jpg
Location 525 W. Lafayette Boulevard
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates 42°19′45″N 83°03′11″W / 42.3293°N 83.0531°W / 42.3293; -83.0531Coordinates: 42°19′45″N 83°03′11″W / 42.3293°N 83.0531°W / 42.3293; -83.0531
Built 1916
Architect Garden & Martin Schmidt; Albert Kahn & Assoc.
Architectural style Classical Revival, Georgian Eclectic, Beaux-Arts
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 83003695
Added to NRHP November 25, 1983[1]

The DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Detroit Downtown - Fort Shelby is a restored historic high-rise hotel, located at 525 West Lafayette Boulevard (at First Street) in Downtown Detroit, Michigan. It was originally named the "Fort Shelby Hotel" when it opened its doors in 1916. In 1951 it was renamed the "Pick Fort Shelby" when it was bought out by the Albert Pick Hotels Company. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.[1]

In 2008, the restored historic hotel opened with 203 guest suites and the upper floors consisting of 56 apartments. The hotel features a 21,000-square-foot (2,000 m2) conference center with two ballrooms and 17 Breakout rooms.

Architecture[edit]

At a news conference on June 26, 2007, it was officially announced the renovation by Ann Arbor Architectural firm Hobbs + Black Associates Inc. would commence. It reopened under the name "Doubletree Guest Suites Fort Shelby/Detroit Downtown" on December 15, 2008, with 203 guest suites and the upper floors consisting of 56 apartments. The hotel features a 21,000-square-foot (2,000 m2) conference center with two ballrooms and 17 Breakout rooms.[2][3][4]

Fort Shelby Hotel Lobby

Preliminary preparation for renovation work began in June 2006. It consisted of structural evaluations, asbestos clean-up and environmental tests. Now complete, the hotel is the DoubleTree Guest Suites - Fort Shelby with 204 suites, an IACC-approved conference center, 66 apartments on the upper half of the building, a full-service restaurant and lounge, fitness center and concierge. The main ballroom was restored to its original state. The parapet that surrounds the main roof deck rises 3'-6" above the roof. Financing for renovation closed in early May 2007, construction work on the hotel started later that month.

The original 1916 building was designed by Schmidt, Garden & Martin and the 1927 addition by Albert Kahn. The building was constructed in two phases completed in 1916 and 1927. It stands at 22 stories in height, with one basement floor, for a total of 23. It was designed in the Beaux-Arts architectural style. It incorporates brick and limestone as its main materials.

History[edit]

In 1917 a group of investors sought to build an affordable hotel near Fort Street Union Station. They hired Schmidt, Garden & Martin of Chicago to design the building and the 10-story, 450-room hotel opened in 1917. The hotel was so successful that in 1926 they broke ground for what was to be the first of two 450-room expansions, the 27-story Albert Kahn–designed addition opened in 1927. However, the Great Depression halted plans for building of the second addition.

In 1951 it was sold to the Albert Pick Hotels chain and renamed the Pick-Fort Shelby. An original mural by Louis Grell of Chicago was commissioned for the hotel lobby during the Albert Pick operation. With more business opting for newer suburban hotels and motels the Pick-Fort Shelby struggled with low occupancy throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. Pick closed the hotel in 1973 and sold the building to three twenty something investors who reopened it as The Shelby Hotel, a hotel/apartment complex geared toward youth in 1974, however, this was short-lived and it soon closed again. For many years, the Anchor Bar, a popular watering hole for workers at the nearby Detroit News and Detroit Free Press remained the only tenant until moving in 1994. MCP & Associates, a real estate investment and development firm, started work on this hotel in the spring of 2007, and finished construction in December 2008. The new renovations are led by Detroit based L.S. Brinker, with the first floor Bar & Grill being completed by Farmington Hills based Mccarthy & Smith INC.

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