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Detroit Council To Approve Ford Auditorium Teardown

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Ford Auditorium, view from Hart Plaza (Wikimedia Commons)

Ford Auditorium, view from Hart Plaza (Wikimedia Commons)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – The Detroit City Council, Wednesday, is expected to approve an $800,000 contract for the demolition of Ford Auditorium.

The auditorium, where Malcom X delivered one of this last speeches outside of New York before his assassination and the former home of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, will be gone by summer.

Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins said the Detroit Riverfront building has been sitting vacant for far too long.

“I think (the demolition) is long overdue… We still pay for Ford Auditorium, and it’s cheaper to cut grass than to secure and maintain a building that nobody is using,” she said.

Mayor Dave Bing wants to turn the property into river front green space until a developer can be found.

“It’s easier to get a developer for a vacant piece of property than it is to get a developer on a piece of property where there is a building,”  Jenkins said.

The demolition costs will be paid for with federal money.

Some on Council said they wanted to learn more about plans for the property before offering their support for a plan to tear it down.

The vote, which had been planned for Tuesday, was delayed, and is now expected to take place Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Stay with WWJ for the latest.

Built in 1955, the building has been empty since the DSO left in 1989.

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