Historic steel water tower finds new home at the El Moore thanks to Green Garage

Did you happen to see that massive steel water tower tooling down Cass Avenue with police escorts last Thursday?
The water tower came from the top of the Dalgleish Cadillac building (built in 1927), which is part of a $93 million construction project for Wayne State University, the largest single investment in a project in WSU’s history (the building is part of a 200,000-square-foot biomedical research center).
Plans for the research center did not include the water tower, though several groups had interest and made serious efforts at trying to save it. "There are groups that want to think outside the box and think more sustainably about moving forward," says Green Garage representative Jason Peet. "Projects like this show that that can be done even with an institution as large as (WSU)."
Interested groups included U-Haul International (who are currently renovating the Nabisco building in New Center), Midtown Detroit Inc., and Wayne State University. Initially the desire was to keep this iconic piece of the neighborhood in Tech Town, but as all other attempts fell through, Midtown’s Green Garage was contacted in the last three weeks as a last shot for the old tower.
They had to partially disassemble the 25,000-pound solid steel structure to take it down and move it to the site of the El Moore, a four-story apartment building in Midtown constructed in 1898 and owned by Tom and Peggy Brennan of the Green Garage. Though they do plan on renovating the building, which will be a sort of "residential version of the Green Garage" where "sustainability will be highly important," formal plans and an official timeline are not yet known.
The old water tower now anchors a corner that was formerly an empty field and will be an architectural part of a planned greenspace that ties in with the Green Garage’s efforts of repurposing materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill and preserving pieces of the neighborhood and the history behind them.
Source: Jason Peet, Green Garage Detroit
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Nicole Rupersburg is a former Detroiter now in Las Vegas who regularly writes about food, drink, and urban innovators. You can follow her on Instagram @eatsdrinksandleaves and Twitter @ruperstarski.