Project Description

The Alhambra Apartments were a true historic Detroit structure, dating all the way back to the 1800’s.  The Alhambra Apartments were built 1898.  The Alhambra Apartments were located at 110 Temple Avenue at the corner of Park Avenue in Detroit’s notorious Cass Corridor neighborhood on the city’s near west side.  The Alhambra Apartments is a six-story, twenty-four unit, Romanesque Revival designed and built with magnificent detail and curved-windows on each end of the building.  The Alhambra Apartments were considered luxurious living at the time they opened.

Interesting side notes to the Alhambra Apartments was that Harvey Firestone, the founder of Firestone Tires, was one of the buildings first tenants.  Also, sometime in January of 1905, many of the tenants were poisoned by one of the residents in the Alhambra Apartments.  When two people actually died from the poisoning, she was arrested for the murders (and later acquitted).  The ghosts of these people that died so tragically are have said to haunt the building.  Many people walking by claim to have seen apparitions looking out the windows of one of the upstairs units.

By 1970, the Cass Corridor neighborhood too a turn for the worse and became Detroit’s skid-row.  The Cass Corridor became synonymous with drugs, prostitution, and crime.  The residents of the Alhambra Apartments moved out and the one-time luxurious apartment building became a motel…..although it was more of a “no-tell” motel.  The Alhambra Apartments were changed into the Hotel Embassy.  The Hotel Embassy operated out of the building until it was sold again and turned back into an apartment building.

In 1998, the Hotel Embassy was changed back into the Alhambra Apartments.  This time the apartments were not luxurious living, but rather in complete contrast.  The new Alhambra Apartments were low-income apartments that wouldn’t last long.  Within a few years, the Cass Corridor began to “clear out” and had become more of ghost town section of Detroit.

The Alhambra Apartments were finally closed in 2006.  The building was quickly scrapped, trashed, and ransacked for anything of value.  Many of the residents left their belongings behind and the rooms had beautiful interior decorative details.  Unfortunately, Little Caesar’s Pizza tycoon, Mike Illitch was rumored to have purchased the decaying building and he has cinder-blocked the entire first and second floor to prevent anyone from entering.

As of 2015, the Alhambra Apartments are still standing abandoned.  Mr. Illitch will surely demolish the historic location to make way for his new Detroit Red Wings hockey arena.   The proposal for the new arena looks as if it will be built right across the street from the former Alhambra Apartments.