Project Description

The Detroit Public Schools Book Depository, mostly known as The Book Depository but also known as the Roosevelt Warehouse, was built around 1926 at 2231 Dalzelle Street in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan. Corktown and The Book Depository are located right outside of downtown Detroit.  It is located at the corner of Dalzelle Street and 16th Street. The Book Depository was designed by the great Detroit architect, Albert Kahn, and was actually built as the main Detroit Post Office.  This is why the City of Detroit chose to build the new post office at 2231 Dalzelle Street. This location was directly next to Detroit’s train station, the Michigan Central Station.  There was an underground tunnel that used to connect the building to the Michigan Central Station, because back then the mail would come in on the train and then be shuttled over to the warehouse next door for sorting, packaging, and eventually delivery.

The building was used as the main Detroit Post Office for several decades until they left for a bigger and newer facilities on Fort Street.This is when the Detroit Public Schools took over the building and made it their supply warehouse.  Detroit Public Schools used the building until 1989, when a massive fire ripped through the warehouse and destroyed many of the textbooks and supplies that were inside.  Despite the fact that there was still many undamaged and brand-new textbooks, student records, and other school supplies , Detroit Public Schools decided to abandoned the building for good.  So in 1989, Detroit Public Schools walked out and locked the doors behind them, while leaving everything inside to rot away.

For nearly 25 years, The Book Depository was open to the harsh Michigan elements. Then around 2008, vagrants, graffiti artists, junkies, scrappers, and urban explorers began to make entry.  Many of the people that entered the building were quite shocked to see all the schools supplies, mainly all the textbooks, just sitting there collecting dust. In January of 2009, The Detroit News reported there was a dead man who had frozen inside a block of ice in an elevator shaft in the building. The homeless man, who was squatting at the Book Depository, had been discovered by a group of friends that had gathered in the building to play a game of ice hockey on the frozen floor.  After this happened, the then and current owner of the building, billionaire tycoon, Matty Moroun, made several failed efforts to keep the building secure.

In 2013, Matty Moruon had the former Book Depository cleaned out of all the old textbooks and other spupplies.  He did this in an effort to keep the curious people out of the building and because he has made some “unknown plans” to do something with the building.

As of 2017, crews have boarded up all the windows and doors at the former Book Depository.  It is rumored that it could either be lofts or demolished, but no one knows for sure.