News & Views » Columns

Closed book


The words “books are doors to wide new ways” loom large on the facade of the McGregor Public Library at 12244 Woodward Ave. in Highland Park. Unfortunately, its doors have been boarded up since April 2002.

What’s going on? Highland Park officials didn’t return our calls, but it’s a pretty safe guess that it has something to do with the burg’s $14 million debt.

The library, completed in 1926, was designed by renowned New York City architects Tilton and Githens in the Beaux Arts style. Today, the more than 90,000 books sitting untouched beneath a leaky roof are a sad reminder of a once thriving center of knowledge.

The grassroots Highland Park McGregor Library steering committee has been lobbying long and hard to get the place reopened. As the above photo shows, their fight isn’t over yet.

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

Send comments to

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.