Tales of Temple Street

The tale of Temple Street is a rather colorful one, though filled with many moments of darkness.

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Temple Street is home of some of Detroit’s most beloved abandoned properties, along with the infamous Temple Hotel. The Four abandoned structures and the residential hotel stand solidly in a row, keeping one another good company throughout the rough times.

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The Temple Hotel, 72 Temple Street, rents rooms out by the hour, day, week or month depending on the visitor’s preference. The Hotel is believed to be a staple in Detroit’s “Red Light District”, though the owner  has denied these claims. Despite these allegations, the owner of the “Temple Hotel” put the building on the market for 3 Million Dollars, which has attracted many odd, yet interesting perspective buyers.

But it wasn’t the scandal or shady side of Detroit that gave the Temple Hotel it’s popularity. 72 Temple Street may have not been a “destination on the map” at all if Houdini hadn’t stayed there during the ’30s. If Houdini hadn’t stayed there, the hotel might never have became a popular place for artists and musicians to crash. It may never have become an icon of Motown’s glory days.

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100 Temple Street sits directly across the street from the Temple Hotel. It served as an apartment building up until it was abandoned. During its early years it served as an upscale residence for Detroit’s wealthier population but slowly deteriorated in its last 40 years of occupation.

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To make matters more interesting, the Temple Hotel borders three abandoned properties to the east, each with a tale of their own, which today stand in grave despair:

56 Temple Street: A small but modest home, destroyed  by fire at least 30 years ago and unoccupied since.

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52 Temple Street: An old Victorian servants house, believed to be haunted by the spirits of an old man and a young girl.

46 Temple Street: an abandoned apartment building, once home to a serial killer who slaughtered several people and left the bodies to decay inside.

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46 Temple Street began as an elegant private residence before being converted into apartments during the mid-1900s. It fell to disrepair during its later years and was home to many undesirables – most notably, a serial killer, who slaughtered several people and left the bodies to be discovered in the property years later. In 2010, 46 Temple was destroyed by fire.

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It is believed that the persons involved in an altercation who were inside the property (who were later arrested) were responsible for starting the fire. Since the incident, the property remains blighted. It is unknown what the future holds for 46 Temple Street, whether it be renovation or razing.

While not much is known about 56 Temple Street, its neighboring property, 52 Temple Street has a long story of its own. 52 Temple was built as a servants corridors for a house that once stood directly behind it on Charlotte Street. Both structures were built during the 1890s.

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During the mid-1900s, 52 Temple was converted to apartments. It began in its early days as a rental for upper class residents and slowly fell down the stratification ladder over the years.

Much regarding the original owners of the property or the servants who once resided at 52 Temple remains unknown today, but there have been many reports of ghosts lingering on the premises. Both the spirits of an old man and a young girl have been seen from the tiny windows of the 3rd floor of this ivy-covered Victorian home.

According to the war veterans who live across the street, the ghosts can be seen during the late hours of the night. I spoke to a few particular individuals who had actually entered the property, some who had experienced this phenomena and others who had not. All admitted that the property was “creepy” and didn’t wish to spend much time there.

None of the recent owners of 52 Temple did much with the property. It is believed that the history of the properties on the block, as well as the “spooky” phenomena that seems to occur has deterred the owners from attempting any renovations.

52 Temple Street has been the center of many growing conspiracy theories, including a perceived plot involving the City of Detroit, to buy up properties with the intent to raze them for the construction of a new hockey stadium in coming years. Both 52 and 56 Temple Street were acquired by a mysterious management company, Victorian Rentals LLC, only a few years ago. Apparently, both the buyer and sellers of the properties signed a confidentiality agreement, which has been the source of much of the controversy regarding the sale of Temple Street properties. The management company has not made any renovations to the properties, nor disclosed its intentions, so many believe the theories to be relevant to the future of the two Temple Street properties.

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