The David Whitney Building Interior when it was in great shape

Built in 1915, the historic 19-story David Whitney Building on Grand Circus Park in downtown Detroit is poised to be transformed into a modern Aloft Hotel thanks to $80 million in new investment. Set to re-open in 2014, the hotel will offer 136 guest rooms and other amenities, including a bar and 24-hour fitness center.

After more than a decade, the  Whitney Building is finally getting her long-awaited face lift. A team, Whitney Partners LLC, will be the developer of the $82-million conversion of the Whitney into retail, apartments, and a boutique hotel. The long-vacant Whitney is an iconic structure downtown at Woodward and Grand Circus Park.

Historic Detroit says the building was named for lumber baron, shipping magnate, and city father David Whitney Jr. Whitney owned the land where the building is located, but it was his son, David C. Whitney, who built it in 1915. In father Whitney's time, Grand Circus Park was mostly residential. The original Whitney mansion is now an upscale restaurant called The Whitney on Woodward in Midtown.

The exodus of urban to suburban meant that many of Detroit's grand shopping areas, like the Whitney Building, didn't see as many customers. Then, a move to modernize swept the city in the late '50s.

The Whitney family ordered a makeover that saw many of the classical elements removed and replaced with pedestrian, prefab styling. Basically, the building looked like any other white-box office building. Historic Detroit shows a comparison of the exteriors. Happily, the interior designs remain.

This is fantastic news for Detroit and our economic resurgence continues!

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