The 901 block Canal Street in 1910 looks almost the same today.
901 block Canal Street
Detroit Publishing Company postcard of the 901 block Canal Street, in 1910, possibly as late as 1915. While much of the Detroit Publishing collection dates to 1900-1905, the earliest date possible for this photograph is 1910. That’s because all three buildings in the block are completed. The Maison Blanche Building fully opened in 1908. The Audubon Building (at the corner of Canal and Burgundy) in 1909. While S. J. Shwartz built the MB building, the owners of the Grand Opera House next door demolished the theater and sold the property to S. H. Kress Company. The five-and-dime store chain built the Kress Building in 1910. Don’t let the automobiles fool you–the Model T began production in 1908.
The MB Building included two entrances on Canal Street. The elegant doorway on the left side in the photo, closest to Kress, led into the Maison Blanche Office Building. That lobby contained the elevators which lifted you to the sixth to twelfth floors of the building, where many professional firms, doctors, dentists, and attorneys operated. From the twelfth floor, there was a one-floor connector elevator that brought visitors and employees of WSMB radio to the thirteenth-floor studio. The entrance to the department store in the 901 block Canal Street was on the Dauphine Street corner, under those green awnings.
The Audubon Building
Originally intended to be a hotel, the Audubon Building evolved into office space. In 1929, Leon Heymann purchased the building. He did so as a fall-back in case he ran into lease renewal issues at 1201 Canal Street. Those issues never materialized. So, Heymann later sold the building. It continued to operate as office space, until it was converted into The Saint Hotel.
Streetcars on Burgundy
This postcard shows two-track streetcar operation on Burgundy Street. Streetcars on a couple of lines came up to the 901 block Canal Street on Dauphine. They turned right, in front of Maison Blanche, then right again, heading outbound on Burgundy. Additionally, streetcars came up Burgundy, turned right onto the 1000 block of Canal, then right again on N. Rampart Street.