Detroit Foundation HotelDetroit, MI
Located on the northeast corner of Washington Boulevard and West Larned Street, the former Detroit Fire Department headquarters was originally built in 1929. Sachse Construction worked with McIntosh Poris to convert two historic buildings into a 100-key boutique hotel. The hotel also includes a full bar and restaurant enclosed on the first floor and the addition of a fifth-floor banquet hall. The project features a number of unique finishes and restored historic elements including the building’s facade and interior plaster elements. Additionally, the new hotel’s 100 rooms are a combination of 54 different room layouts.
A challenging aspect of this project was constructing around and incorporating the existing structures which were damaged from age and neglect. For example, one of the building’s walls was structurally falling apart. To allow for the wall to hold the weight of the fifth-floor additions, the project team had to rebuild the wall entirely with structural supports. In addition to being an important part of the scope, these challenges also had the potential to impact the schedule and overall construction logistics of the project.
To overcome these challenges, the Sachse project team resequenced work to keep the schedule moving. For example, the new rooftop addition was constructed before removing the old roof, allowing our team to work from the bottom-up and the top-down simultaneously to minimize delays.
In addition to having a modern aesthetic, the hotel has a number of historic preserved and rebuilt elements. All original terra cotta and masonry components were preserved, and custom molds were cast to create new matching pieces to replace areas that had been damaged or degraded. Inside, the preservation and restoration process included carefully removing or protecting all original materials to avoid construction damage.