Forgotten Detroit
People's Outfitting Company
Peoples in photos

People's PostcardWhile Hudson's, Crowley's and Kern's have all vanished into memory, the former People's has remained. Highlighting the flexibility of the building's design, mid-60's developers were able to convert its open shop floors into divided offices for 3 decades of profitable operation. While the office market has softened leaving People's again vacant I do hope that again its open layout will aid it in renovation.

The surrounding neighborhood is changing. When I first started frequenting the area in 1998 People's was joined by several other vacant or underutilized buildings. The old Howard Johnson, Book-Cadillac and Lafayette Bldg. were abandoned. Today the HoJo is renovated, the Book-Cadillac slated for a $150 million dollar makeover. Only People's and Lafayette remain vacant. Even several buildings on nearby Capitol Park are being renovated. Adding to the activity is the completion of Compuware this year which can only help the building's chances.

As stated the building's floors are basically open with a handful of columns. Depending on how much weight they can support it seems to me that they can by configured to virtually any use. Currently the building is in decent shape and appears to have no structural problems. I would rate its chances as very high for renovation. My only concern would be its demolition to build a block sized parking structure. But the Book-Cadillac will have its own garage, a new garage is going up on Woodward and the Hudson's garage should open shortly. Hopefully parking will not be a concern.

Copyright 1999 - 2004, David Kohrman
Last updated on April 29, 2004