Historic Detroit Dry Dock Complex being demolished

1892 building once housed Detroit Shipbuilding Company


DETROIT – The main part of the historic 1892 Detroit Shipbuilding Company building, also known as the Dry Dock Complex, on Atwater Street will be demolished on Thursday.

The biggest part of this iconic Detroit structure will be coming down. Local 4 will be there for the demolition which has been ongoing for the past week.


The building has been home to the Detroit Dry Dock Company, Dry Dock Engine Works and the Detroit Shipbuilding Company. At one point it was owned by Detroit Edison Company and the Globe Trading Company but has sat abandoned for more than a decade.

An outdoor adventure and discovery center will be built in its place.

Here are some facts about the building:  

  • Building constructed in phases between 1892 and 1900
  • Best remaining example of turn-of-the-century industrial and ship-building facilities that used to line the East waterfront.
  • Redevelopment plan includes the partial demolition of the building with the balance being restored and augmented for MDNR use.
  • Final project will encompass approximately 43,000 square feet.
  • In addition to the exhibits referenced on the attached, the building will become the SE Michigan field office for the MDNR, currently located in Southfield.  Approximately 20 employees will re-locate to the facility.
  • Total project cost of $12.8 million
  • Globe Development LLC, a joint venture between Roxbury Group and Walbridge Aldinger is the developer.
  • Ann Arbor based Hobbs & Black is the project architect.

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