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The Siren Hotel: A Detroit Landmark with a Musical Soul, Saved from Abandonment

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The Siren Hotel: A Detroit Landmark with a Musical Soul, Saved from Abandonment

November 16, 2018

Motor City’s iconic Wurlitzer Building—originally designed by native Detroit architect Robert Finn in 1926—now houses The Siren Hotel, with interiors reimagined and rebuilt by design development firm ASH NYC. Once the headquarters for the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company, importers of woodwind and brass instruments from Europe, the building fell into a period of abandonment (and danger: bricks were falling off of the façade) before its rebirth as the city’s trendiest hotel, with 106 guest rooms, six food and drink spaces, and two retail shops.

To transform the decrepit building, ASH NYC created completely new walls and electrical systems within its narrow footprint; fitting 106 rooms into the floor plan was like solving a puzzle, says partner and chief creative officer Will Cooper. “From there, the building’s history led us to the fantasies that we created within the various spaces throughout the hotel, from the rooms to the historic lobby,” Cooper says.

In the new interiors, soft pinks meet deep crimson, navy, and olive to marry new world and old world as the landmark Wurlitzer Building begins its newest life as The Siren Hotel. Check it out.

Photography via The Siren Hotel.

“Our inspiration was drawn from grand hotels of the past in both America and Europe,&#8
Above: “Our inspiration was drawn from grand hotels of the past in both America and Europe,” says Cooper. “The palette was specifically derived from the colors in the historic plaster ceiling that is now preserved in place in the lobby.” (Curbed Detroit has a glimpse of the “before,” including the original patterned ceilings.)

“I always say that I like having the parameters of an existing footprint to work within, because it gives us lines to color within and forces creative uses of space,” Cooper says. He adds: “It channels all of the energy that would be spent on façade studies into creating dramatic and interesting interiors.”

 An heirloom bookcase meets modern chairs.
Above: An heirloom bookcase meets modern chairs.
Eighteenth and nineteenth-century Italian antiques are scattered throughout the lobby. Shown here: a shop off of the lobby featuring an outpost of Detroit-based flower shop Pot & Box.
Above: Eighteenth and nineteenth-century Italian antiques are scattered throughout the lobby. Shown here: a shop off of the lobby featuring an outpost of Detroit-based flower shop Pot & Box.
The original travertine floors have been restored. Note the throwback fringed lamps throughout.
Above: The original travertine floors have been restored. Note the throwback fringed lamps throughout.
Custom woven blankets in the guest rooms were designed by Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate students. A slipcover keeps the TV out of sight when not in use.
Above: Custom woven blankets in the guest rooms were designed by Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate students. A slipcover keeps the TV out of sight when not in use.
 Custom ASH NYC furniture mixes with vintage finds by designers such as Colette Gueden and Carlo de Carli.
Above: Custom ASH NYC furniture mixes with vintage finds by designers such as Colette Gueden and Carlo de Carli.
The Hideout is a guest room built for two.
Above: The Hideout is a guest room built for two.
 Blue-based terrazzo tiles throughout a colorful guest bathroom.
Above: Blue-based terrazzo tiles throughout a colorful guest bathroom.
In another, pale green-based terrazzo meets oxblood.
Above: In another, pale green-based terrazzo meets oxblood.
 The Siren Hotel is named for the Greek mythological creature and also serves as a metaphor, calling for the return of people to Detroit.
Above: The Siren Hotel is named for the Greek mythological creature and also serves as a metaphor, calling for the return of people to Detroit.
 Populace Coffee Roasters lives on the first floor.
Above: Populace Coffee Roasters lives on the first floor.
A beaded curtain off of the lobby leads to the pink-hued Candy Bar.
Above: A beaded curtain off of the lobby leads to the pink-hued Candy Bar.
The vintage-style Candy Bar, in hues of red and rose.
Above: The vintage-style Candy Bar, in hues of red and rose.
 “The history and the soul and the energy of these spaces can still live on with us, as the new inhabitants of the space,” says Cooper.
Above: “The history and the soul and the energy of these spaces can still live on with us, as the new inhabitants of the space,” says Cooper.

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