Simeone Deary Transforms Erstwhile Fire Station Into the Detroit Foundation Hotel
Two urban visions are merging in downtown Detroit. The former fire headquarters is now the Detroit Foundation Hotel. Simeone Deary Design Group’s Gina Deary and Lisa Simeone transformed the 95,000-square-foot structure into a reflection of the city’s past while embracing its present. “I’m from the area,” Deary says, “so I felt an obligation to produce a project the city could be proud of.”
Highlights of the five-story neoclassical building include the main entrance’s terra-cotta arches, formerly the fire engine entrance. The ground level’s 18-foot-tall ceiling originally accommodated trucks. Now, it’s home to the Apparatus Room, a restaurant that retained the existing glazed brick tiles. Brand-new, however, is a banquette niche’s elaborate custom pendant fixture, its billowing white fabric resembling smoke, and the cascade of handblown glass orbs around the adjacent bar.
Details by local artisans proliferate throughout the hotel and its 100 guest rooms, from the iron door handles to the McClure’s potato chips. Metallic pastels, a nod to automobile paints from Detroit’s heyday, accent the deep chocolate color palette. Two suites with original cherry paneling are particularly notable: They were the former offices of the fire department’s highest ranking members. But now, instead of fighting fires, occupants are partaking in podcasts at the in-house studio.
Project Team: Christine Babini; Katie Liberman; Mark St. Romain.