MultiColor Motown – Focus on Green

A subtle green-trimmed sign in front of the Paris Hotel on St. Aubin Street in Detroit reads,“Your Home Away From Home Since 1952”  Now abandoned, the hotel sits forlorn in a desolate location.

Green is not the most popular  architectural color in Detroit, but Glass House Hand Car Wash survives, and makes a brilliant statement with the bright shade of paint.

I believe green exterior oil paint is very durable. Here, green blankets a wall that sports tiny barred windows like eyes behind a catcher’s mask. Virbrant green is called to service to grab the short attention span of vehicular traffic.

Detroit’s primary automotive interest is maintance, not manufacturing. Mackavelle’s Hand Car Wash, 10307 Mack Ave., opens in the warm seasons.  This neighborhood’s linage is still faintly traceable to Italy, so perhaps the business was named after Niccolo Machiavelli of Italy (1469-1570),  or Mack Avenue, or a mashup of both.

Harry’s Auto Salvage screams attention with the elevated, obsolete, General Motors rear-engine Corvair ina fabulous green.

Auto parts are a big business in the city, and Harry’s large inventory is ready and waiting to keep a clunker running. You can see the shop blocks away.

As the Michigan marijuana laws move along, new, licensed medical verification distribution stores are popping up like spring shoots. A new generation of “legal” facilities, more sophisticated with attractive facades, are awaiting the delivery of state-regulated locally-grown weed for general consumption. The brightly painted Green Buddha sits just north of Detroit, in Ferndale, and appears to represent a serious investment.

Many marijuana shops in Detroit which sprang into existence early on, only to experience years of  confusion and licensing delays by the state, have failed.

I loved and had high hopes for the Detroit Grass Station, but the fast buck was not there to sustain it.

I was shooting the exterior of Pots and Pans Grill on McCellan Street at Mack Avenue a while back. On my left are two men working on a car engine. I waved. They approach.

“Aren’t you afraid of being here?”

“Is there a threat?”

“No, no, man.  I’m just asking.”

“I am just taking photos. I love the colors.”

Pots and Pans Grill owner Dave enters the scene. He was cool. We talked about his place. The  mechanics went back to work. But last I looked, Pots and Pans Grill – Dave’s dream business – had failed.      More on the McCellan Street story at

Competing for your eye – and your business – on Grand River Street is a party store that sells only SNACKS, “$ITEMS” and GIFTS.  No liquor or beer license. Nor is there any real food.

On Detroit’s Livernois Avenue is Mo Money Tax Services.  The paint is the color of money, but green in the architecture environment does not guarantee economic success. Mo Money is yet another failed business venture.

More Detroit Dissolving Blog stories and available images are available for download at:

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One thought on “MultiColor Motown – Focus on Green

  1. Thanks for sharing the great photos David. I never see these areas of Detroit.

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