Hotel Statler: 1000 rooms, 1000 baths
The Statler in photos
The Photo Gallery
The following collection of photos provide a glimpse at how the Statler appeared at the time of the Greater Downtown Partnership's RFPs and after 25 years of neglect. I have many, many more photos of this building. Should time and server space allow, I might add more.
This view, taken from the Kales Building, shows the Park and Bagley sides of the hotel.
A similar view from the corner of Woodward and Adams. The Park and Washington Blvd. sides are visible. Notice how close the People Mover comes to the hotel.
This is a study of the detail work of the lower floors along Washington Blvd. The tall third floor windows with the faded awnings are the private dining rooms while the narrow windows above are offices of the housekeeping department.
This shot is below the marquee seen previously. The windows which today are boarded over and covered with movie advertisements once looked into the Grill and Men's Cafe.
A shot of the main Bagley Ave. entrance with the tall window of the Ballroom above. Note the odd decor around the door. In its later years it served as the entrance to Trader Vic's.
Now we are inside and looking at the main lobby. In 1915 this shot would include the tall arched windows which looked out at the park. Today the lobby is a small cramped space with no windows.
This shot is a 90 degree spin from the previous view. It is looking down the office lobby towards the elevators. Like the main lobby, the decor is completely different from the original.
The check-in desk from the elevators.
This is the Bagley entrance, which is seen from the outside above.
Turning 90 degrees to the left we look down this corridor. This was the former entrance to the dining room. After the renovations, as the dangling reeds would suggest, this lead into Trader Vic's.
At the end of this hall we find these two large ovens.
The main dining room as it exist today. The exotic decor of Trader Vic's is gone though the form survives.
Deeper into the hotel we come upon these ranges in the kitchen.
On the Washington Blvd. side of the hotel a large, devastated, room exist. Once home of the Grill, it later became a retail arcade. Today the arcade walls have collapsed in a heap of rubble.
At the end of the arcade are the remains of the space occupied by the old Lounge Bar and Terrace Room. The Lounge Bar, has the most left. Surviving its conversion into the Surrey Room was its structural form and an art-deco ceiling fixture. Both survive in this rubble.
The Terrace Room was split into two restaurants. The ruins of the Coffee Shop are seen here.
The stone walls and wood ceiling beams of the Beef Barron have survived 25 years of neglect.
One flight up on the mezzanine the condition is not much better. This view from the elevators looks towards the Hilton meeting rooms which occupy the old upper portions of the lobby.
A portion of the elevator lobby and foyer on the ballroom floor. This is looking towards Washington Blvd. to be exact. Note the marble around the stairways and elevators.
To the left is a set of doors which lead to the Ballroom. Despite extensive damage to the northwest corner much of the original detail work can be seen.
That surviving detail work includes this plaster panel above the Washington Blvd. side of the room.
Less of the ceiling survives in the adjoining Wayne Room. It's vaulted ceiling had been covered with a drop ceiling in the 60's.
In the center of the hotel the banquet kitchen has decayed beyond recognition.
This is the corridor down the Washington Blvd. side which leads to the private dining rooms.
This is one of those private dining rooms, Parlor E to be exact.
On the far end of the hall are the remains of the English Room. This room was created in 1937 using the wood paneling removed from the Grill. That wood appears to have been removed after the hotel closed.
Deep on the second mezzanine we discover the original lobby railings stacked up in a pile next to some ventilation equipment.
This is a view down a typical Bagley side corridor. I believe it to be the 6th floor.
The 6th floor elevator lobby. All of the elevator lobbies have this look but vary in condition.
A corner living room to a suite.
This corner living room belongs to the old manager's quarters on the 6th floor.
A more modest single room (room 637) with a view of the light court.
A shot showing how the medicine cabinets opened up to provide access to the plumbing shafts.
A corridor on the 18th floor. This floor was devoted to service and included a medical department and file storage.
An interesting sign in the mechanical penthouse advertising the Hilton Towers.
A shot on the roof showing the seam of the original 1915 structure (right) and the newer 1916 addition (left).
The last view is a glimpse of Comerica Park, then under construction. I conclude with this shot since it is Comerica Park, along with Ford Field that might breath new life into the Statler. This view should explain why.

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Copyright 2001, David Kohrman
Last updated on 11-14-01