Quick Click … From the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History, Feb. 11, 2016
Before there was the storied Book-Cadillac Hotel in Downtown Detroit, there was the Cadillac Hotel. I saw this advertisement in the July 7, 1922, Jewish Chronicle and began to wonder about the history of the hotel. This was the era of the “Roaring 20s.”
The Cadillac Hotel first opened in 1888 on Washington Boulevard. By 1891, it was one of the best hotels in Detroit and boasted such guests as Presidents William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.
After razing the building in 1923, the new owners, the Book Brothers, reopened the hotel as the Book-Cadillac in 1924. It was the tallest hotel in the world at the time. For many years, it remained the finest and most famous hotel in Detroit.
In the 1970s and 1980s, however, the hotel struggled. It closed its doors in 1984 and remained empty for 24 years. But, in 2008, the Book Cadillac was refurbished and reopened with great fanfare. Today, it is still the hotel for famous visitors to the city.
In 1922, however, you could still dance without a cover charge … after midnight! And you could eat a lunch for 65 cents or a dinner for $1.25 a plate. And don’t forget to try the Chinese dishes!
Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.
By Mike Smith, DJN Foundation archivist