Why Did Detroit Land Bank Demolish Historic Log Cabin?

There are only two known historic log cabins standing in Detroit. Last month, there were three. Researchers were ecstatic to find one — possibly built before the Civil War — sitting just north of Hamtramck. But not long after the discovery, the cabin was demolished by the Detroit Land Bank Authority. The Land Bank says it was following procedure.

Jake Neher/WDET

Krysta Ryzewski (left) and Greg Kowalski (right) on Detroit Today

Should there be more care when we’re dealing with buildings that tell us something special about our past and give us an up-close glimpse of that history?

What does this say about our attitudes and policies about buildings and how disposable they are in this city?

On Detroit Today, Stephen Henderson speaks with Hamtramck Historical Museum Chairman Greg Kowalski, who had hoped to move the cabin in front of Hamtramck’s city hall, as well as archaeologist and associate professor of anthropology at Wayne State University Krysta Ryzewski. Public Information Officer Alyssa Strickland gives the Detroit Land Bank Authority‘s perspective and talks about the cabin and why it was destroyed in the first place.

Click on the audio player above to hear that conversation.

This conversation was part of a broader discussion about why we mourn sacred and/or historical buildings. Click here to hear the rest of that conversation.

Image credit: Greg Kowalski

About the Author

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.


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