Iconic Detroit Buildings: Fort Shelby Hotel


DETROIT – Once home to Detroit's most notorious mob, the Purple Gang, the Fort Shelby Hotel's history has stood the test of time.

Located on Lafayette Boulevard, the Fort Shelby Hotel, which is now the a Doubletree hotel, opened in 1916.

It opened in two phases - the first in 1916 - a 10-story building. The second, taller phase opened in 1927.

Designed by prolific architect Albert Khan, the neoclassical building stands 21 stories tall.

The hotel was known to be a popular meeting place for bootleggers during America's prohibition era.

In 1927, legendary mobster Al Capone came to Detroit to talk with Purple Gang members about a liquor trade.

They met at the Fort Shelby Hotel, where Capone was told if he wanted to do business in Detroit, it would be through the Purple Gang - or not at all.

ALSO SEE: When the Purple Gang ruled Detroit

In 1951, the hotel was purchased by Albert Pick Hotels, and renamed the Pick Fort Shelby.

After changing hands again in 1973, the hotel closed in 1974 and sat vacant for more than three decades.

In 2007, the building was renovated and reopened as a Doubletree Guest Suites hotel.

The $90 million renovation was one of the largest of its kind in Detroit's history.

Photos/Info from HistoricDetroit.Org

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