Posts tagged elsmereandavis
Finishing Details

Details and finishings are being worked on every day at the building. Plywood panels have been cut and are being sealed and installed along the bottom half of the wall on our side of the building. Some will be painted eventually while others will remain a natural wood finish.

Doorways and trim are being painted, the bathrooms are getting finishing touches, and the exterior brow trim has arrived and will be installed soon.  

Mural Progress Continues In Face Of Rain

Work on the mural continues. Freddy turned the corner today to begin the background on the Elsmere side of the building. The work will progress quickly over the next few days as long as the rain stays away during the daylight hours.

Weather has already impacted the time available to work on the mural a bit, but neighbors have been stopping by to ask questions and check in on the progress. 

Freddy Outlines Mural

Today Freddy began outlining the mural on the south facing (alley) wall. 

With scaffolding, aerosol, and brush paint he is starting to lay out the mural’s background from top to bottom and across the building.

This background will eventually cover three sides of the building and parts of the building’s interior. Additional layers will be added to the mural at different points across the mural. 

Laying Community Legends to Rest

Tomorrow we lay two legends to rest.

Two friends. Two mentors. In some ways our relationships with each of you couldn’t be more different, and in other ways they are so much the same in ways other folks just couldn’t understand.

You were both critical to creating, building, and sustaining The Alley Project. 

Thank you both for the moments teaching, learning, sharing, and building. You are irreplaceable.

Tead and Freddy Begin Mural Plans

Tead, local artist and mentor, came by to measure and discuss more details about the mural he will install on the exterior of the building. Part of the mural will continue to the inside of the space and will be visible through the windows on Elsmere. 


On the way in he stopped to pose for a pic near a photo of Freddy, another local artist, who he has been a mentor and friend to over the years. Freddy has been coming to The Alley Project since he was a youth and has grown as an artist and a mentor to young artists in Southwest Detroit passing on all that he has picked up along the way. 

We are excited for the full circle mentee-mentor cycle to unfold in real time as it becomes a tangible work of art/mural for the whole community to enjoy.  

Brick Work Begins

The brick work has begun. It’s subtle but as they move down the building you can see the painted brick give way to restored masonry reminiscent of the building’s original look.  

Check it out in person if you’re passing through. It is temporarily visible as the repairs are being made before the building’s facade work gets underway.

In the Spring a large-scale public art piece will be installed, wrapping the building with a high-quality, brightly colored mural. It is being developed by local artists to complement the building’s design and wrought ironwork designed and installed by southwest Detroit’s own Diseños. 

Chuck the Contractor Keeps a Tidy Workspace

Chuck, the general contractor, told us before he started he likes to keep a clean and safe work site.

Inside and out they have kept up as shown here… going the extra mile with little things like painting the temporary facade and using the cinder blocks from the building to block off the work area.

Separately, its interesting to see the blocks like mixed up puzzle pieces of the artwork that was on the building. A couple neighbors have asked about the blocks today and will be able to come and get whatever is left over when the project is complete. :) 

Trenches have been dug in the front to set the steel in 48″ of concrete to support the expansion on the front (Avis) side of the building. They will be filled soon. 

Removal of Cinderblocks Reveals the Building's Frame

As the cinderblocks come off the front of the building they reveal more of the building’s original look. The front had a diagonal entrance at the corner and probably had a decorative wood frame with windows surrounding it.

As the rest of the blocks are removed they will be used to block off the work area in the front. Eventually some of the materials that are removed (cinderblocks, bricks, etc) will be used in other parts of the building as needed. 

Inside trenches have been dug for new plumbing and electrical work to service the new layout. Trenches will be dug outside in a couple days for the foundation for the front expansion and patio. Stay tuned for more updates!!

Original Openings On The Building Revealed

The original openings on the building are being revealed during the deconstruction/preparation process. In some ways its starting to become easier to picture what the building may have been set up like in the 20′s when it was originally built. This will become more obvious in the coming weeks when more bricks and blocks are removed to prepare for construction!

Plans for Elsmere-Avis Shared with Community

Young Nation celebrated with neighbors, friends, and partners on Friday. The plans for the Elsmere-Avis Plaza were shared and feedback was gathered as the project moves closer to beginning construction. Entertainment was provided by Raices Mexicanas, Motor City Rockerz, and DJ Clay and food was provided by Esto’s Garage.