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The Whittier Hotel on Burns Street near Jefferson. Designed by Charles Agree, the Whittier was planned to face onto Jefferson Avenue. But the large, wealthy landowners in that area didn't want a hotel next door, so they sued the developer, pointing out the restrictions were for single-family homes. The judge ruled that Burns Avenue could be extended to the river. Since this was a new street, there were no restrictions on building type (this was before the city had good zoning laws, which Agree helped to write). As long as the hotel faced onto Burns, it was OK. The remainder of the land was donated to the city as a park. Agree based his building on the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. The ground along the riverbank at the site was soft, so Agree used the "floating" pad idea that Wright used in Japan.
"They all said it wouldn't work," Agree told me. He paused to puff his big, black cigar. "I'm here, the building's here, those guys are dead. So who was right?" In 1926, he added a section to the building. This time he used big concrete piles driven into the bank. Again, the skeptics said it wouldn't work. So who was right? The development of the Whittier led to the development of the other apartments along that stretch of Jefferson Avenue. Agree went on to design many fine apartments, theaters and shopping areas on the east side, and some buildings for Palmer Park (where he lived) that were never built. Source: Detroit News Editorial from Greg Piazza. Click the pic for a LARGER version.
The Whittier Hotel is now closed, but appears to be well preserved. Picture from Wayne State University. Click the pic for a LARGER version.
The Whittier Hotel. Click the pic for a LARGER version.
Another shot of the Whittier Hotel. Click the pic for a LARGER version.
A shot of the 1926 wing of the Whittier Hotel. Click the pic for a LARGER version.

Whittier Hotel