The formerly grand front entrance of the Hotel Granwood in Highland Park yawns open, revealing a cavernous mouth full of trash. Glass and other debris littering the decrepit structure on the corner of West Grand and Woodward, deters certain flip-flop clad members of the ASS (that’s Abandoned Structure Squad for the uninitiated) from exploring the interior too closely.
The four-story, 80-unit residential hotel caught fire on St. Patrick’s Day 2000, ousting all 100 residents and leaving them homeless. Two years after the terrible blaze claimed one life, evidence of former residents remains. Handwritten “No Loitering” signs, burned couches, a Christmas stocking and air mattresses spill out of the windows and doors. Perhaps the most disturbing relic is a rubber baby-doll lying on the ground beneath rampant weeds, empty Wild Irish Rose bottles scattered nearby.
The Granwood Hotel’s advertisement for “air-conditioning” is painted on a wall that bears the unmistakable scorch marks of a devastatingly hot fire.Domenique Osborne is an editorial intern at Metro Times. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org