Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bond & Bailey Machining, Detroit

The Bond & Bailey building on W. Fort St. in Detroit is one of my favorite old buildings. I like it because of its unique character, its slight lean, its "ghost" sign on the east wall, and most of all because it is at least 125-130 years old and still being used (I think). I have been unable to learn anything about its history except that Bond & Bailey has been there "since 1948," according to the sign out front.

Bond & Bailey Machining and its neighbor the Detroit Trucking Co. 
building, aka, Don Miller "Land Storage" - May, 2012

 Former Detroit Trucking Co. building - May, 2012

 This neighboring building was constructed (late 1930s - 1940s?) by the Detroit Trucking Co. and was later occupied by Bond & Bailey Machining, and then Don Miller Land Storage. It was still standing in 2012 after being vacant and suffering at least two fires. As you can see it was a mere shell awaiting its dismal fate which was most probably demolition. The only question was, how and when.

The answer came when it burned again (likely due to a scrapper's torch) the afternoon of June 29, 2012, just 40 days after the photos above were taken. After a 2-hour battle the fire was extinguished without injury. The building has since been demolished. 

The late 1800s Bond &Bailey building still stands. These photos show how it looked in 2012:

Bond & Bailey Machining (2012)

A sign on the east wall by the entrance boasting their services (2012)

It was - and still is - comforting in some way to see the little building still there each time I pass by. At the same time, though, I always wonder how much longer it will be there. While this old stalwart still stands it has been, like so many buildings in Detroit, senselessly defaced by tagger vandals. I was furious when I saw it on a drive down Fort Street in July of 2013. Taggers have painted the entire side of the east wall, completely obliterating the terrific old sign:

July, 2013

For what useful purpose was an historic building defaced, and a vintage sign destroyed?

What or who is TAF-TMK, and why should anyone care???

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