Forgotten Detroit
The Kales Building


On a recent fall evening I was walking down Washington Blvd towards Grand Circus Park. At that time all that remained of the Statler was a stump of the 1916 addition and a heap of rubble. This sight filled me with bitter anger. Nothing like destroying one of the best buildings in the city for little more then a gravel lot.

Something else grabbed my attention, resulting in an opposite reaction. Beyond the rubble pile stood the Kales Building, every window ablaze with light. Tenents could be seen passing in and out of the lobby doors that had been locked shut for so many years. Although this had not been the first time I had seen the Kales since its opening, it was the first time I saw it at night. I recalled a cold evening years ago when we climbed the dark building for photos of a quiet Grand Circus Park. Tonight the park was brighter and more lively because of the Kales.

Yes, the city has made mistakes, many mistakes. However, projects like the Kales, Merchants Row, Washington Blvd, and the Vinton Building, to name a few, are showing that progress is being made and downtown Detroit isn't exactally as "endangered" as the National Trust would like to believe. Hopefully Kales will provide an example for what can be done to the Farwell, Metropolitan, United Artists and other vacant office towers.

For more information and floorplans visit the building's new website:


Copyright 1999 - 2005, David Kohrman
Last updated on November 5, 2005