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Birmingham’s Townsend Hotel Turns 25

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(credit: Sandra McNeil/WWJ)

(credit: Sandra McNeil/WWJ)

sandramcneill Sandra McNeill
A native Detroiter and University of Michigan graduate, I got a break...
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BIRMINGHAM (WWJ) - A certain color of M&M’s, hunting down the latest fad in exercise or diet drinks or emptying a room and putting in a dance floor.

It’s just a day in the life of the workers at Birmingham’s Townsend Hotel.

The hotel that caters to the rich and famous turns 25 this month, and Sales Manager Kitty Adler has been there since the very beginning.

“When we dug the hole, I was the second employee,” Adler said.

The dance floor was for the late Michael Jackson. The staff had to remove everything from the room and install the floor so Jackson could practice for his upcoming show at the Palace.

The star, she said, was very kind. “We had a bronze statue of a horse upstairs in the suite he was in and he actually asked if he could purchase it.”

So what about that rumor about Paul McCartney and his late wife Linda throwing things at people buying fur coats at a store once located across the street? “There was no paint thrown,” said Adler. “They were animal activists … the kids followed suit.”

When asked if there as any shouting, Adler would only say, “There might have been … the kids thought they were having fun.”

Then there was the time rabid Pistons fans turned out by the hundreds outside the hotel and made a lot of noise, hoping to keep the Lakers up all night during the 2004 NBA finals. “They were over in the parking structure, they were along the streets. There were a lot of people…they were yelling and blowing horns,” Adler said.

The police, Adler said, helped to calm things down. The Pistons went on to a major upset win.

After a quarter century, Adler said, the Townsend is everything she once envisioned. “To see it carry on another 25 years,” said Adler. “That would be amazing.”

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