Remembering history: The 1976 Addison Hotel shooting
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- You never know what sort of bizarre history exists — like that time in 1976 when a police chaplain was shot and killed by a barricaded gunman on the sixth floor of my building.
The intrigue: "I remember seeing police outside right near the front door with big revolvers in their hands," wrote Bruce Harkness, a photographer and frequent poster on the Cass Corridor Forever Facebook group. "It was a wild scene with hundreds of gawkers being held back by the police."
- Harkness was unable to find anything online about this memory until Detroit News reporter George Hunter turned up gold. He posted the News clip from March 6, 1976, recounting the event in detail in the comments of Harkness' post.
Zoom in: The News' Norman Sinclair described the building as a "rundown hotel, where Chauncey West Jr. had shot one man and was holding police at bay in a sixth-floor stairwell."
- Another police officer and the part-owner of what was then a hotel were wounded by West before he was killed by a sharpshooter while on the roof of the Addison, Sinclair reported.
- 47 years later, I spend lots of time in the Addion's sixth-floor stairwell and roof — which made these details especially remarkable to read.
Of note: A commemorative plaque honoring Chaplain William Paris still exists outside the now-residential building today.
- Here's more pictures of the historic hotel from the Woodward Avenue 1946 Jubilee and during the 1967 riot, which appear to have been put together by the late Joel Landy.
The intrigue: Nine years after it opened in 1914, the building was fitted with an addition designed by Albert Kahn.
- It has since been demolished.
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