News & Views » Columns

Abandoned Shelter of the Week

The door is always open at 3912 Third St. Step inside the Cass Corridor storefront and you’ll find yourself knee-deep in cardboard boxes, soggy newspapers, and the bottom half of a toilet. Wade in a few feet deeper to behold the garden area, where thriving plant life stretches toward an expanse left by an open roof. Down the street at Honest ? John’s, owner John Thompson recalled the spot formerly known as Rollo’s Confectionery during its better days, when neighborhood kids flocked there for an after-school treat. Featuring a long counter, eight or nine seats, and an oak magazine rack, Thompson described his former hangout as “a piece of art.” Built in 1925, the structure has been empty for 20 years. “It was a great little corner store,” Thompson recalled. “It was where we all went to get our ice cream.” In 2002, the city assessed the property’s value at $31,450.

Editor’s note: If you know of an abandoned home you would like to see featured in this spot, send a photo and pertinent information to News Hits, c/o Metro Times, 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226 (or e-mail

Check out all of our Abandoned Shelters of the Week

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.