The beautiful old theater began life as a cinema. In the late 1960's it became one of Detroit's hotspots for live music and its small stage hosted an incredible array of legendary bands. Years later it served as a porno theater and experienced a brief rebirth hosting community theater. A year after these were shot, the apartment building attached to the theater suffered two fires, but somehow the theater was spared. It's in horrible shape and basically serves as a shooting gallery for junkies today.
Designed by Detroit engineer and architect Charles N. Agree in 1928, it originally housed retail business on the first floor with a large dance hall upstairs. In 1966 the Grande was aquired by dj Russ Gibb, who turned it into one of the top rock venues in the country. The Grande hosted everyone from Led Zepplin to the Grateful Dead to the Velvet Underground. It was also the launching spot for the likes of Iggy Pop, Ted Nugent, and the legendary MC5.
The Grande closed in 1972. Today it sits, slowly rotting away. The floors are collapsing and you can look up and see the sky through the holes in the roof. But it still has some of the best accoustics I have ever heard. It may be too late for this treasure, but hopefully not.
The stationn was designed by the Warren & Wetmore and Reed and Stem firms who also designed New York City's Grand Central Terminal, and was done in the the Beaux-Arts Classical style. It opened in 1913, and was last used by Amtrack in 1988. The only building of any real height in that part of the city, the depot towers about the neighborhood around it like a monument to the former glory of Detroit.
In April 2009, Detroit still passed a resolution to demolish the structure, despite it being listed on the National Register of Historic Places.