Historic building to be demolished in downtown Detroit for a whopping 12 parking spaces


'Detroit Saturday Night' building at 550 W. Fort St. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • 'Detroit Saturday Night' building at 550 W. Fort St.

The original headquarters of the now-defunct Detroit Saturday Night newspaper is set to be demolished to make way for 12 parking spaces.

Developer Emmett Moten says he needs additional parking spaces to sell more luxury condos at the adjacent Fort Shelby in downtown Detroit.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, protesters plan to rally outside the 105-year-old, three-story brick Detroit Saturday Night building at 550 W. Fort St. between First and Second streets. At 10 a.m., demonstrators will gather at the Detroit City Council meeting inside the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center at 2 Woodward Ave. and urged council members to reconsider last week's 8-1 decision to reject a proposal to save the building. The protest is organized by Detroiters for Parking Reform, an advocacy group calling for a moratorium on parking spaces.

“We have more parking spaces downtown than ever before, with nearly 40 percent of land in downtown Detroit devoted to this use," the group wrote to city council. "But somehow, we are convinced we need 12 more spaces where the historic Detroit Saturday Night Building stands today. This is a building that might otherwise be redeveloped for housing, business, and retail space. World-class cities are not defined by how much parking they have."

In 2007, Moten purchased the Fort Shelby and Detroit Saturday Night buildings, along with a parking lot. He told council members that his plans have always been to redevelop the Fort Shelby and demolish the Detroit Saturday Night building for parking spaces.

Mayor Mike Duggan's administration supports the demolition.

More than 3,600 people signed a petition by the advocacy group Preservation Detroit to protect the building.

Architects Smith, Hinchman, and Grylls designed the building to serve as the headquarters for Detroit Saturday Night, which stayed in that location until 1929. The newspaper was published from 1907 to 1939.

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