Historic destination in Detroit recovering from damage after water main break

The Prince Hall Grand Lodge saw its basement get flooded.

A national historic destination in Detroit is dealing with devastating water damage after a main break.

The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons Jurisdiction of Michigan sits on the corner of Gratiot Avenue and McDougall Street.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places earlier this year.

It was in the middle of renovations when water rushed into its basement Friday and Saturday.

Roderick Anderson, the historic hall’s grand master said Friday afternoon he received a call about the water overflowing into their basement and Gratiot Avenue He describes it as disheartening, especially because a similar situation happened June 2021.

“The city’s equipment is just faulty equipment,” Anderson said. “The claim that we put in last year, they (Detroit Water and Sewerage Department) came back and denied the claim and told us it was because we could not prove it was their equipment.”

That meant the organization would not get reimbursed for the $125,000 they spent in repairs last year.

“So here we are a year later and having to redo this,” said Anderson said. “We’re hoping that the city is going to come through with this and honor what we know is the right thing to do.”

In response, the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department released the following statement:

“Friday afternoon, there was a water main break on Gratiot Avenue which flooded part of the east side of the street. Detroit Water & Sewerage Department (DWSD) identified the issue immediately after receiving notification and isolated the area to slow the leak. After Miss Dig marked the area for safety, a DWSD contractor was able to excavate and work on the repair today. We apologize to the businesses for the inconvenience. Unfortunately, water main breaks can cause flooding due to the leak and in most cases, there is no warning until the leak occurs. DWSD will reach out on Monday to Prince Hall Grand Lodge staff, and we will have our engineers assess the water main for possible future rehabilitation.”

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.