The United Artists remains one of the most depressing
and disappointing buildings I have seen. I knew
little about her when I first passed through her
doors. At once I was excited with the amazing
architecture and horrified by the destruction.
I am particularly keen on Spanish styled buildings
and I love the United Artists. Its entrance lobby
is one of the finest interiors ever built in my
opinion. Thus I can never describe how seeing
those maidens shattered made my blood boil.
A return trip probably wasn't for the best. I
found the damaged interiors to be in even worse
shape. More plaster had fallen to the floor. More
vandalism was evident to the upper floors. I am
distressed to find that the United Artists complex
open to trespass and vandalism nearly every time
I drive down Bagley. No sooner is an opening reported
and sealed, then its reopened again. I find myself
staying away, afraid to see how much further it
I would lie if I said I didn't believe that the
United Artists will be demolished. I feel that
if something was going to happen, that if Illitch
intended to renovate the building, then it would
have happened by now, or the place would be better
guarded. Not that renovation is impossible. The
Detroit Opera House was in VERY bad shape when
it was restored. These sort of projects have been
successful. I hope to find that the United Artists
is one of them.
The United Artists could be a very important
element to downtown's recovery. The offices would
be perfect lofts. The L shaped floors offer large
windows all around with great views. The location
near the Lodge and on Grand Circus Park is a plus.
The theater space could become an entertainment
venue with retail on the ground floor. Even if
the theater wasn't restored to its original glory
it could again become part of the living city.
I've seen similar cases where the building was
restored as a ruin, creating a most unique theater
I can only offer my opinions. Opinions which
are based on my observations during my walkthrus.
I have no knowledge of what the owners or city
plan for the property. I do expect that in short
time the property will be redeveloped. We will
have to wait to see if that means renovation or
demolition for the United Artists.