Monday, January 10, 2011

Economic Irony

I live close to the Motor City, the automotive capital of the world a few decades ago. Now it is a shadow of its former splendour and bustling economic activity.

"Built in 1926 the 4,000-seat Michigan Theater in Detroit was one of the crown architectural jewels of the time. The auditorium featured 10-foot crystal chandeliers that hung eight floors above the seats, and the mezzanine was open to black-tie guests only. The building was a product of the boom created by Henry Ford and the Model T.

But by the mid-1960s, the Michigan Theater was among dozens in the city to close due to dwindling profits, and though it was saved from the wrecking ball in 1967, its glory days were over. "

Now the shell of the building has been transformed into the world's most opulent three level parking garage.

While ironies abound, perhaps the most interesting is that the site sits atop Henry Ford's first work shop.

Also today begins the North American International Auto Show in Detroit (Jan. 10-23) amidst a revival in the North American auto industry and the fortunes of the original Big Three companies which were threatened with bankruptcy several years ago.

Via Jalopnik