He shoots: A student goes for a penalty shot in a game of basketball inside the Cass Tech sports hall as other players wait for the throw to be completed
He shoots: A student goes for a penalty shot in a game of basketball inside the Cass Tech sports hall as other players wait for the throw to be completed

Ghosts of students past: Fascinating pictures of a derelict Detroit school... mixed with evocative images from its heyday Photos of Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan, whose alumni include Diana Ross and Jack White

School moved to new building in 2005 which left original facility empty and it was later demolished last year Largest school in Michigan by 1942 with 4,200 students attending eight-storey brick and limestone building

From shooting hoops to eating lunch and from marching bands to disco dancing, these extraordinary photographs capture a bygone era in US education.

The amazing images of Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan, from detroiturbex.com combine old pictures of school life with recent views of the abandoned building.

Cass Tech, which counts singer Diana Ross and rocker Jack White among its alumni, moved to a new building in 2005 which left the original facility empty.

Click HERE for more of these amazing photos on Daily Mail! 
Abandoned houses with overgrown yards may be the image most people associate with Detroit, but the city’s downtown and midtown neighborhoods have the opposite problem: a shortage of rental apartments to meet a growing demand for an urban lifestyle.

 The Broderick Tower downtown is also in demand.

Developers say occupancy rates in these areas are at least 96 percent, spurred by young professionals, students and empty nesters who want an easy commute to school or work and a short walk to local cafes and bars.

“To us it feels like there’s an insatiable demand,” said Fred Beal, manager of Motown Construction Partners, which led the recent renovation of the 124-unit Broderick Tower downtown.

Built in the late 1920s, the 34-story building near Comerica Park had been vacant for decades, but is fully leased after opening in November. Penthouse units that are 2,300 square feet command $5,000 a month, Mr. Beal said, though most of the studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments rent for $2,000 or less.

To take advantage of tax credits available for renovating historic buildings, the apartments must be rented, not sold, but developers say the demographic currently testing the waters in Detroit — many young, first-time city dwellers — isn’t ready for the commitment of buying a condominium anyway.

These tax credits make it easier to renovate old buildings than build new ones, but one exception is the three-story Auburn building, which also opened in November. Located near Wayne State University in midtown, the Auburn has 58 apartments and 11 retail spaces, that are “leasing very well,” according to David Di Rita, a principal at the Roxbury Group, one of the building’s developers.

Retail tenants include a spinning studio, a bookstore, a Thai restaurant and a home goods store, Mr. Di Rita said, while the apartments — mostly one-bedrooms around 600 square feet — rent for “just south of $1,000 a month.”

The thriving apartment market in these neighborhoods is a bright spot in an otherwise grim financial picture for Detroit. Once the nation’s fourth-largest city, its population has dwindled and its finances are floundering. State officials have warned that a state-appointed emergency financial manager may be in the city’s future, so enticing former suburbanites to live and not just work or go to school in Detroit has involved some financial incentives. But a crucial factor is creating the thriving neighborhood hubs that places like San Francisco and New York have long offered.

Click HERE to read the full article on The New York Times!

Detroit Dog Park, an non-profit organization based in Detroit, has entered into a three-year agreement with the city of Detroit to turn Macomb Playlot into Detroit's first true off-leash dog park.

The three-year agreement will allow the organization to build and maintain an off-leash, enclosed dog park that is free of charge and open to the public.

The parcel is Macomb Playlot, a 0.7 acre park at the intersection of Rose and 17th Streets in Corktown. The project is part of the city's Adopt-A-Park program, in which community groups and grassroots organizations commit to restoring city parks that are underutilized or in need of maintenance in exchange for helping define what programs and uses the park will have. Macomb Playlot is a former playground that sits next to Roosevelt Park and the Michigan Central Depot in the heart of Corktown.

"This is a tremendous day for the Detroit Dog Park family," said Carly Mys, chair of DDP's Board of Directors. "We are excited about the opportunity to work with the city to build a dog park for the community, by the community, and can't wait to get started."

Brad Dick, director of Detroit's General Services Department, which oversees park maintenance, said the agreement is an example of the good works that can happen when groups collaborate.

"I think it is great when neighborhood groups partner with the city to tell us what they want - and it is even better when we can make something happen together," he said.

With a projected opening during the summer of 2013, Detroit Dog Park is seeking donations through Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform for creative projects. Until Dec. 17, friends of the dog park can donate at http://kck.st/RJAFpq. The goal is to raise $15,000 to defray between half and one-third of startup costs. For information about the organization, including preliminary designs for the park, visit the Kickstarter page or detroitdogpark.org. For event information, visit facebook.com/detroitdogpark.

Detroit Dog Park is a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to building an off-leash park for people and their dogs within Detroit city limits. Our goals are to revitalize a space for people and dogs to meet and play in Detroit, to partner with neighborhoods in cultivating community and economic activity for present and future Detroiters and to create, to transform and to grow.

AlphaUSA has a long history of serving its community and regularly helps with initiatives here in southeastern Michigan, including many local projects such as back-to-school drives, and high school scholarships. Alpha’s local commitment includes serving on community chambers of commerce, Rotary, and other civic, arts, and educational organizations. But, even though Alpha’s first commitment is to its Michigan region, when they learned through a Philadelphia customer of a national effort to rescue the historic ocean liner SS United States, they jumped on board.

AlphaUSA was approached by the Philadelphia-based SS United States Conservancy because Detroiters are known for their fundraising. Initially, they sought contact information for Lee Iacocca in the hopes the retired auto executive-turned philanthropist could help raise the needed revenue as he had for the Statue of Liberty restoration. But when they heard about the ship’s technological importance and the looming possibility that she could be lost forever, Alpha turned to innovative ideas gleaned from fellow Detroiters to propose and subsequently invent a new way to fundraise for historic preservation.

The Conservancy liked what it heard from Detroit and asked AlphaUSA to oversee the creation of what eventually became savetheunitedstates.org, an interactive online model of the ship that not only teaches people her history, but lets them choose, buy, and personalize any square inch of its surface for only $1. It was a monumental task coordinating the merger of ship's plans and historic facts and assembling a team of programmers able to divide the ship into tens of millions of square inches, making any one of them accessible within two mouse clicks. AlphaUSA orchestrated the project from start to finish in less than three months.

“Without AlphaUSA’s Detroit roots, this national campaign would never have become a reality,” explains David Lawrence, AlphaUSA’s CAO, who now serves on the Conservancy’s Advisory Council. Inspiration was drawn from outside-of-the-box ideas like Loveland's "Buy an inch of Detroit" and Erik Proulx's $1-per-frame producer rights for Lemonade Detroit. As a manufacturer, and part of the Detroit's innovative industrial legacy, the company was also drawn to what the SS United States symbolized. She is still the fastest ship ever built and is a monument of technological innovation, engineering know-how, and America's can-do spirit to accomplish anything.

Many Detroiters actively advocate for our city and stay plugged into the great things happening here every day. Like AlphaUSA, they can also bring our local-style of grassroots outreach to a national level and become a part of this online social media event by buying their own inch of the ship. Once this new technique for preserving our history proves successful, these same methods can be put it to use to save Detroit's own endangered structures.

About AlphaUSA

AlphaUSA is a product development and design based manufacturer located in Livonia, Michigan. Founded in 1957 by WWII veteran George Strumbos, the company specializes in creating metal fabrications and assemblies including machined components, specialty fasteners, and low to high volume stamped products. AlphaUSA has received numerous quality awards and is a leader in its community having been named 2010 Large Business of the Year by Wayne County and the City of Livonia Chamber of Commerce.

Pewabic Pottery invites metro Detroiters to “shop local” this holiday season its annual Holiday Shopping Night on Wednesday, Dec. 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Guests can join in celebration for a night of tasty holiday snacking, live entertainment courtesy of the Jazz Merchants and great discounts. To top it off, shoppers can find the perfect gift for loved ones from a selection of beautifully handcrafted ceramics by more than 100 artists.

The night will be full of surprises with giveaways every 30 minutes, and "special purchases" available throughout the evening. Upon entry, visitors will receive a numbered ticket, entering them for a chance to win Pewabic items including ornaments, t-shirts, and even an iridescent vase valued at $100.

In addition to the great deals, Pewabic Society members will receive double their regular discount (up to 20%).

“The Holiday Shopping Night is a fun year-end celebration, filled with surprises, entertainment and holiday cheer” said Barbara Sido, executive director of Pewabic Pottery. “It’s a great opportunity for metro Detroiters to shop local and support community artists.”

Visitors can also take this time to view Pewabic Pottery’s annual holiday exhibition, Earthy Treasures, on display through Dec. 30.

Pewabic is a historic working pottery which is open to the public year round and offers classes, workshops and tours to children and adults. Pewabic creates giftware, pottery and architectural tile, showcases more than 80 ceramic artists in its galleries, and operates a museum store that features pottery and gift tile made on-site. Visitors are welcome, free of charge, Monday - Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. To learn more about Pewabic Pottery call (313) 626-2000 or visit www.pewabic.org.

Pewabic Pottery is located at 10125 E. Jefferson Ave. in Detroit across the street from Waterworks Park.
The holidays have arrived and Buddy’s Pizza is giving thanks and giving back as Detroit’s #1 square pizza contributes to a local charity and receives international recognition for its delicious pies.

In observance of breast cancer awareness month, Buddy’s Pizza featured the Leon & Lulu pizza in October. The healthy, gourmet pizza came on a multi-grain crust with asiago, brick and parmesan cheeses, tomato basil sauce and was topped with shredded carrots, sautéed spinach, fresh broccoli and Italian spices.

For each Leon & Lulu pizza sold Buddy’s donated $1 to the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in support of breast cancer research. Additionally, staff was given the opportunity to wear jeans on Fridays throughout October with a $5 donation as well as purchase a special Buddy’s t-shirt, all benefiting Karmanos. With an overwhelming response from Buddy’s staff and guests, Buddy’s Pizza was able to present Karmanos with a $3,000 donation on Dec. 3.

“At Buddy’s Pizza we strongly believe in supporting worthy local causes,” said Robert Jacobs, president of Buddy’s Pizza. “The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is a leader in cancer research and it’s based in our hometown. It’s a pleasure to partner with such a great organization.”

At the same time, Buddy’s Pizza was internationally recognized by Zagat, the world’s first provider of trusted restaurant ratings and curated restaurant reviews, as one of the top “10 pizza joints across the U.S. that are worth a road trip.”

The Zagat critic described Buddy’s Pizza: “. . . it’s square, it's deep-dish and instead of the sauce being on the bottom underneath the cheese, it sits atop the toppings in big, healthy blotches. . . the rich and buttery, but not too heavy crust is perfectly crispy and chewy, and the sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and savory.”

“We are honored to have our pizzas recognized by Zagat,” said Wes Pikula, vice president of operations at Buddy’s Pizza. “It’s exciting to hear they rank our pies as the quintessential Detroit-style pizza.”

For more information on Buddy’s Pizza, visit www.buddyspizza.com.

A one-of-a-kind, 24-foot Menorah designed and built by the highly acclaimed Nordin Brothers of the Detroit Design Center will be lit to celebrate Chanukah. Thousands are expected to head downtown for the second annual “Menorah Lighting in The D” that will also feature a free soup bar, donuts, dreidels, live music, ice skating, and more.

The Menorah is a traditional symbol of Chanukah, an eight-day festival, and is lit to commemorate the miracle of one day’s oil burning for eight days. “The public lighting of the Menorah is rooted in Chabad tradition and is celebrated in major locations worldwide, from the White House to the Eiffel Tower, so it’s only fitting that downtown Detroit be included for the second straight year,” said Itty Shemtov, Director of Education at The Shul.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 from 5:00 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.

A crowd will gather near the Menorah located in Cadillac Square Park, adjacent to Campus Martius Park.

A Motorcycle Jacket Made Out of Cadillac Upholstery & Parts

Rusty Blazenhoff
Laughing Squid 

At the recent IDEO-hosted craft festival, Wunderfaire, I met Dustin Page, the founder of Platinum Dirt, an Oakland-based company that makes fashion accessories and jackets out of reclaimed leather automobile upholstery. At Wunderfaire, he had on display one of his VIN Jackets, a motorcycle-style jacket made out of (in this case, Cadillac) upholstery and parts. It not only used the leather from old Cadillac seats, it also incorporated its hood ornament (as a zipper pull), its embroidered wreath (as a sort of perfectly-placed crest), its metal logo and its metal VIN tag (as an adornment). The VIN Jacket is a special order and can be made with leather from Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, Lincoln, BMW, or Volvo vehicles.

All of the Platinum Dirt products are available to order online.

The 40th annual Noel Night will take place on Saturday, December 1st, 2012, from 5:00pm-9:30pm in Midtown Detroit's Cultural Center Area. Over 60 Midtown venues, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Historical Museum, and the Detroit Public Library, amongst many others, open their doors to the public FREE of CHARGE during this Cultural Center-wide holiday "open house." Activities include horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday shopping, family craft activities and performances by over 120 area music, theatre, and dance groups. The evening's festivities culminate with a community sing-along on Woodward Avenue led by the Salvation Army Band — a long-standing Noel Night tradition.

Noel Night activities take place in and around Midtown Detroit's Cultural Center institutions, primarily between Cass and John R and Kirby and Willis. Free shuttle service is offered between participating venues. Convenient parking is available in area lots. Noel Night is produced by Midtown Detroit, Inc., a nonprofit community development organization that supports economic growth in Detroit's Midtown district.

For more information, click HERE or contact Midtown Detroit, Inc. at 313.420.6000.

Shoppers are invited to Pewabic Pottery’s (Pewabic) National Historic Landmark building for a unique evening of shopping, celebration and charity as Copper & Clay: Pewabic’s New Leadership Initiative hosts its first Gift & Give holiday shopping benefit on Thursday, Nov. 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Browse ceramic art from more than 100 artists to find the perfect gift for family and friends all the while supporting Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation’s Healing Arts Program. Ten percent of the event’s sales will benefit the Healing Arts Program that allows young patients to brighten up hospital visits by exploring their creativity through art.

Guests will also be treated to light fare from Avalon International Breads and Whole Foods, coffee and tea from Germack Coffee Roasting Co. and an assortment of beer and wine.

The Gift & Give holiday shopping benefit is free and open to the public.

The vision of Copper & Clay is to “engage, network, cultivate” with the goal of expanding membership among young adults. The committee is dedicated to growing Pewabic’s associate level membership for persons under age 35 by creating a rotation of events and cultivating the energy and passion of metro Detroit’s young professionals.

Pewabic is a historic working pottery which is open to the public year round and offers classes, workshops and tours to children and adults. Pewabic creates giftware, pottery and architectural tile, showcases more than 80 ceramic artists in its galleries, and operates a museum store that features pottery and gift tile made on-site.

Visitors are welcome, free of charge, Monday - Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. To learn more about Pewabic Pottery call (313) 626-2000 or visit www.pewabic.org. Pewabic Pottery is located at 10125 E. Jefferson Ave. in Detroit across the street from Waterworks Park.

Zagat Blog
By Kelly Dobkin

The recent Thanksgiving holiday had us returning home to our native Michigan for five days of eating sleeping, and well, eating. The trip gave us the opportunity to visit one of our favorite pizza joints on the planet, the legendary Buddy's Pizza, who specializes in Detroit-style pies. What exactly is Detroit-style pizza? Well it's square, it's deep dish, and instead of the sauce being on the bottom underneath the cheese, it sits atop the toppings in healthy blotches. We realize many of you NY-style pizza fans may be cringing at this point, but the pies at Buddy's are truly delicious. The rich buttery, but not too heavy crust is perfectly crispy and chewy and the sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and savory. If you happen to be in the Detroit metro area, you should give these Midwestern pies a whirl.

“She’s (Veronika Scott) changing the world, one coat at a time.” 
-Caroline Kennedy 

Veronika Scott started a project in Detroit that hires shelter residents to sew coats for the homeless that convert into sleeping bags.

Stacey Abrams is the first woman to lead either party in Georgia’s General Assembly, a Democrat who’s known for working across party lines to pass legislation.

On Monday evening, both won public service awards bearing John F. Kennedy’s name in a Boston ceremony that included the late president’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy.

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy presidency, it’s inspiring that my father’s call to service is still being answered by people like the two young Americans we honor today,” Kennedy said.

The annual New Frontier Awards honor those younger than 40 who have become role models for a new generation of public servants by showing qualities of civic-mindedness, pragmatism, vision and tenacity in finding and addressing public challenges.

The prizes are a collaboration of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Scott, now 23, was a student at College for Creative Studies in Detroit when she launched her project by working on a class assignment with this direction: “Design to fill a need.”

“It’s amazing to be here and think of where this really started,” she said after the audience saw a short video about her work.

Scott spent months at a Michigan shelter getting to know the homeless. While there, she began working on a design for a coat prototype for the homeless that weighed 20 pounds and took 80 hours to make, earning her the nickname of the “crazy coat lady.”

But Scott streamlined her design. She now employs homeless women to work in a formerly abandoned warehouse where they use donated materials and equipment from General Motors and Carhartt to make warm convertible coats for the homeless. Scott expects that her nonprofit, The Empowerment Plan, will produce 800 coats by year’s end.

Click HERE to read the full article in the Washington Post! 

2013 Best Detroit Zagat List:

1. Supino Pizzeria, Detroit. Food score of 29 out of a possible 30 points.

2. Moro’s Dining, Allen Park

3. The Lark, West Bloomfield

4. Common Grill, Chelsea

5. The West End Grill , Ann Arbor

6. Union Woodshop, Clarkston

7. Texas de Brazil, Detroit

8. Roast, Detroit

9. Assaggi Bistro, Ferndale

10. The Hill Seafood & Chop House, Grosse Pointe Farms

After six months of renovations, the Detroit Historical Museum is set to re-open to the public Thanksgiving weekend with free admission. More than 70 percent of the museum’s exhibitions have been reimagined, marking the first major renovations to the facility since the 1960s.

The renovations and technology upgrades were made possible by the Detroit Historical Society’s $20.1 million Past&Forward campaign to support new and expanded exhibits at the Detroit Historical Museum, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum and the Detroit Historical Society’s Collection.

Among the new exhibits are The Allesee Gallery of Culture, the Kid Rock Music Lab, Detroit: The “Arsenal of Democracy,” and The Gallery of Innovation. Among the revamped and enhanced offerings are the Streets of Old Detroit, Doorway to Freedom – Detroit and the Underground Railroad and America’s Motor City exhibits.

Be sure not to miss these exciting interactive elements of the newly renovated Detroit Historical Museum:

· Visit the Innovation Station – Test your skills at mixing your own soda pop flavor in the Gallery of Innovation.

· Enjoy a “Rock” Concert – Take in the sights and sounds of Kid Rock’s 40th birthday concert at Ford Field in the Kid Rock Music Lab.

· Catch a Ball Game – Relive the Detroit Tigers’ 1984 World Championship Season in the Allesee Gallery of Culture.

· Hear the Call to Arms – Listen as President Franklin D. Roosevelt urges Detroit to become the “Arsenal of Democracy” in Detroit: The “Arsenal of Democracy.”

· Find Your Way to Freedom – Step across the Detroit River into Canada as you make your way along the Underground Railroad in the Doorway to Freedom – Detroit and the Underground Railroad.

· Enjoy a Taste of History - Step up to the counter at a replica of the first Sanders Confectionary store on Woodward Avenue during the 19th century in the Streets of Old Detroit.

· Go Hand to Hand with Gordie Howe – Match your handprints to that of more than 20 of Detroit’s cultural icons in the Detroit Legends Plaza.

· See the Motor City’s Finest – View a rotating display of some of our region’s most exceptional automobiles in our new Automotive Showplace in America’s Motor City.

· Become a Conductor – Control the model trains in the re-designed Glancy Trains exhibit.

Re-Discover Your Family – Visit the new Family Discovery Room and experience family life in 19th century Detroit with hands-on activities in the Streets of Old Detroit.

More information: detroithistorical.org.