New Red Wings development has some concerned about historic Detroit buildings

Are historic Eddystone, Park Avenue hotels standing in way of progress?

DETROIT – The Eddystone Hotel and the Park Avenue Hotel sit as hulking, stripped reminders of Detroit's prosperous past.

Once upon a time, the two properties that sit along Sproat Street were jewels. Today, the question is whether these two vestiges of the past are standing in the way of progress.

The properties, which are on the National Register of Historic Places, sit in the proposed arena development district. Detroit's planning commission and City Council are debating what should be done going forward. At least, they were supposed to.

City Council called a meeting Thursday to debate the issue but not enough Council members showed up. City Council President Brenda Jones was not amused.

"I am a dissatisfied president today, as we have a roomful of people in the audience as well as the city planning commission," said Jones. "My colleagues were noted that there would be a Committee of the Whole meeting today consisting of the city planning commission, and they are not here and I am not happy about that."

Because there were not enough members present, there could be no discussion or action taken.

The Eddystone and Park Avenue were designed by local architect Louis Kamper in the 1920s. So far in all the stadium plans, it's unclear whether the Ilitch organization is going to tear them down or attempt to rehab them.

A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday.

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