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Work Begins On the Wurlitzer Building As Pieces Continue Crashing Down

This time the debris hit the People Mover tracks instead of 1515 Broadway.

1515 Broadway Cafe
1515 Broadway Cafe
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Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

The good news is Mayor Mike Duggan's administration has successfully forced the owners of the Wurlitzer Building in downtown Detroit to comply with court orders demanding they bring the high-rise up to code. However, that didn't stop chunks of debris from breaking off the brick façade on Monday. Motor City Muckraker reports:

Workers on a crane were gently removing bricks from the building on Broadway Monday morning when some of the façade came tumbling down on the People Mover at John R. and Broadway, prompting a safety manager for the system to halt work on that side of the building.

While no one was hurt, the Wurtlitzer has already proven a hazard for the owner Chris Jaszczak of nearby 1515 Broadway. The Detroit Free Press reported on Oct. 2 that the café receives water via an unusual temporary solution by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, while they await fixes on the crumbling Wurlitzer. "A downtown Detroit coffeehouse and an adjoining jewelry store get all their water from a system of plastic pipe and garden hoses attached to a nearby fireplug with duct tape and towels," says Robert Allen of the Free Press. The system has been in place since July 4.

According to Motor City Muckraker, Jaszczak was sleeping in his second-floor apartment above the café in 2011 when a piece of the Wurlitzer crashed through his ceiling.

1515 Broadway Café

1515 Broadway St, Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 965-1515