Any Port In A Storm

Even for those of us who have really gotten over the whole "UE" thing, sometimes you just need a quick spot to drink that 40 while it's still cold, and light a small fire to pass some hours with an old friend on a chilly winter's night.

The c.1921 Sanborn maps for Detroit call this place the Michigan Pressed Brick Co., "manufacturers of sand lime brick," located at 4500-4524 Lawton Avenue.

The first small building in the driveway contains a bathroom. Here's one of those big communal sinks that you see in factory bathrooms. That is, if you're somebody who works those kinds of jobs. You don't know nothin' 'bout that. Just stick to your Midtown™ live-work space.

Honestly, given the spalled-out effect seen on the brick wall in the previous photo of the bathroom, I have to wonder if that was the quality of the product this facility turned out...I mean if that's the case (and I have a feeling that it is), then no thanks

Granted, Portland cement mortar is known for doing that to pretty much any kind of brick, but come on now. I've seen this issue before.

You may recognize that rickety watertower in the belongs to the Northway Motor & Mfg. Plant Ruins. Pay no attention to the mysterious pickup truck. 

We are also currently hanging out adjacent to the Edmunds & Jones Plant, the Detroit Fire Department Training School and Fire College, the David Stott Flour Mills, and the Detroit Post Office Grand River Substation, all of which I have covered in other posts.

The c.1897 Sanborn map shows this parcel as the Warren Scharf Paving Co., at 484-496 Sullivan Avenue (later renamed Lawton).

Some of the buildings here could be the same on both the c.1897 and 1921 maps; the outbuilding with the bathroom in it appears to have been original to the 1921 map. Chances are they not the same structures, but they have very similar footprints, so...maybe?

No dates of construction are given on these maps unfortunately, but some of the labels describing the buildings include: "tool room, kettles, sand heaters, barrels of tar, pitch & paper storage, 40hp engine," etc.

FYI, the house where Stevie Wonder grew up is just a couple blocks away, at 3347 Breckenridge Street.

Seems like a popular graffiti spot now, in the wake of so many other higher-profile spots in the city being gentrified or closed up. 

One thing I've also been noticing lately strewn amongst the ruins is empty cans of that frat-boy White Claw crap. And this place was no exception.

I mean, who even drinks that shit?

Yeah, that's a Dodge truck's charred corpse, by the way:

I'm guessing this place was totally incinerated pretty good at some point, since there is nothing left of the structure except the outer walls.

Some of the graffiti looks kind of old, too.

There used to be a second story here, I take it:

A strange triangular room next to the train tracks:

Out back, you can see how close we are to the old Edmunds & Jones Plant, with its triangular roof profile:

I'm guessing this place has been out of service for some time if there's trees that thick growing in here:

I also find it strange that there are so many buttresses built into the walls of this plant:

More jungle by the railroad:

Hey, there he is—the guy who brought Coronavirus to Michigan! Ol' Typhoid Navi. He's the one that gave it to me, and then it wasn't long after that before The Gretch put Michigan on lockdown.

After we ran out of beer and rubbish to burn, we made our way to Wyandotte, since there was a couple of old dying neighborhood bars that we wanted to check out. In my book any business that is housed in an old house is cool by me, even if it is Downriver. And if they sell fried fish along with their beer, then sign me the hell up.

Sanborn maps for Detroit Volume 2, Sheet 102 (1921)
Sanborn maps for Detroit Volume 2, Sheet 96 (1897)
Home in Detroit: Where They Lived, by T. Burton

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