Why Sound Landmarks?
The Detroit Sound Historical Landmarks Committee is a project of the Detroit Sound Conservancy and was founded in May 2013. The DSHLC is committed to providing leadership on issues of historic landmark preservation of music-related places. This project was inspired by the work of Leo Early at the Grande Ballroom. Our most compelling page is the United Sound Systems page.
Current List of Endangered Sites
- Blue Bird Inn
- Cobbs Corner
- David Stott Building (WABX)
- Grande Ballroom
- Harper (Harpo's)
- Sound Suite
- Tera Shirma Recording Studios
- United Sound Systems
Potential Historical Markers for Landmarks Already Gone / Demolished / Not In Use
- Anna Records
- Harmony House #1 (Hazel Park)
- Motown 2 (and / or other Motown related buildings in the city - see: 2006 Motown Center)
- Fortune Records
Potential Historical Markers for Landmarks Still in Use / Not in Danger
- Cobo Arena (?)
- Masonic Temple
Detroit Music Landmark Failures / Struggles
- Motown Building on Woodward torn down
- WJLB moves to Farmington Hills
- United Sound Systems threatened
- Original Cass Tech High School torn down
Detroit Music Landmark Successes / Opportunities
- 1971 Orchestra Hall put on National Register of Historic Places
- Youthville opens
- 2012: Multiple blues venues still exist including Bert's, The Raven, Little Mary's, and John's Carpet House and Pete's Place.
- Ben Blackwell: Detroit Record Labels Map
- Creative Time ("One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This")
- National Trust for Historic Preservation
How-To / FAQ / Best Practices
If you think a building might have some interesting musical history -- or know that is does but do not know the buildings' status -- here are some ideas for how to proceed:
Find out as much as you can about the building.
- Burton Historical Collection: The Burton has a photo index, a local history index, and (some) permits. It is a great place to start ANY kind of historical research on Detroit.
- Learn who the owner is.
- Is it already a national or state landmark?
- Who are the groups that might be interested in the past, present, future of the building?
- Fina other examples of success to model your process on. Hostel Detroit - How did they do it?
When you've done all that you might think about historical preservation.
State of Michigan Historical Markers, The National Register of Historic Places and the National Historic Marker program are three separate programs each with its own requirements and timelines. Do not confuse the three.
- State of Michigan Historical Markers - ( Big Green Sign Program )
National Register of Historic Places (National Park Service)
5 Steps to nominating a property in Detroit:
- The Property Owner.
- The City of Detroit Historic District Commission - the Historic Designation Advisory Board
- The Mayor.
- State of Michigan - State Historic Preservation Office
- The National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places
What do other cities do?
- Birmingham, Alabama
The Cincinnati Music Heritage Foundation:
"History: Since its formation on December 3, 2007, CUSAMHF has become an active, important member of the region’s arts community. Relying on the hard work and dedication of board members and volunteers, and despite having no staff, CUSAMHF has managed to organize numerous events, raise awareness of Cincinnati’s music legacy through press coverage and grassroots organizing, and preserve local music landmarks. CUSAMHF has done this by aggressively pursuing partners in both the public and private sectors to help advance the Foundation’s mission. In addition to the various programs and events that CUSAMHF has sponsored, the Foundation moved into and began renovating the former Herzog Studio space at 811 Race Street in 2010. From 1945 to 1955 Herzog Studio was one of the premier recording studios in the world. It is Cincinnati’s first professional recording studio, led by Earl T. Herzog, a WLW engineer who worked at Crosley Square. Preceding Nashville Row, Herzog’s operation and practices were used as a model for the first Nashville recording studios like Castle. At Herzog, Cincinnati’s first professional R&B recordings were made, along with landmarks in bluegrass and rockabilly. In 1948 and 1949, Hank Williams recorded “Lovesick Blues” and “So Lonesome I Could Cry” at Herzog. In fact, the Herzog space is the last standing structure where Hank Williams recorded professionally. In addition to Hank Williams, Patti Page, Rosemary Clooney, and early King Records artists also recorded at Herzog Studio. A Bootsy baby!"
- The Public Library of Cincinnati on King Records
- The Cincinnati Music Heritage Foundation:
- New Orleans
What NOT to do:
- blindside owner (if you can find them)
Create triage list of still existing / most endangered sites. See, amongst other articles, Bill Holdship's piece "Detroit full of sites with legendary sounds."
- Need to work with Preservation Detroit
- Need to contact Department of Natural Resources and get someone to help streamline process for music historical markers: http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/MIDNR-7a6b0c
- Community Economic Development Association of Michigan video on historic preservation July 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGJAQlTU3Ak&feature=share&list=PL6B968727852C168C
The Car City Country Map: 20th century country-western music venues in the city of Detroit and Southeast Michigan, sourced from vintage printed material (1930s-1960s) and musician interviews by Craig "Bones" Maki and Keith Jason Cady. Visit the website: www.carcitycountry.com
Pages tagged “endangered sound”