Theatre, Detroit, Michigan, USA
When the Michigan theater was built in 1926, it was in the midst of Detroit’s auto industry, a booming metropolis. Marble sculptures, 3-meter crystal chandeliers and magnificent columns indicate the prosperity of The Times, welcoming and sending guests. It was built on the spot where Henry Ford built his first car, but today it is used to house his legacy, the automobile.
In 1976, after decades of financial hardship, the theater closed and was scheduled to be demolished. However, the demolition of the theatre will cause instability in the adjacent buildings. As an alternative, engineers decided to preserve the historic theatre, removing the attic and grandstand and transforming the space into a three-storey parking system. The compact layout and flat floors of commercial buildings are not suitable for good parking, they do not drain well, and they are difficult to build infrastructure. Most of the time, it is more economical to demolish old buildings. But the Michigan theater is a rare exception.