The Grande Ballroom is one of the most hallowed spaces in Detroit music history. It has been home to jazz, big band, rock. It was a center of Detroit’s counterculture movement.
It also is a gem of a building designed by Charles Agree and completed in 1928. He left his mark on a variety of structures around town like the Vanity Ballroom, the Whittier Hotel and others.
But what will be next for the place that’s seen a couple lives and been sitting closed since 1972?
It’s currently owned by the Chapel Hill Missionary Baptist Church, and the building is being hugged by a dedicated group of volunteers that are now raising money to get the ball rolling on turning the corner for the place.
A GoFundMe has been started by Leo Early, a passionate advocate for the place, in conjunction with the Friends of the Grande Ballroom and the church that owns the structure to see what needs to be done.
Per the fundraiser page:
Donations will go towards the engineer’s fee and any inspection costs to include construction/carpentry and equipment rentals. This report will be used to make a decision for launching a 501-(c)3 non-profit organization, aid in determining a business case and to calculate the extent of work necessary to stabilize the structure. Assuming positive viability can be determined, any balance will go towards startup costs and a much larger construction fund raising campaign. Exercising this due diligence will benefit the church in pursuing grants and additional funding. As the building has a perforated roof, time is of the essence and we hope to have the inspection complete as soon as possible, weather permitting. Our latest potential inspection date is December 15.
As of this writing, they’re raised $3,045 of their $5,000 goal. There are also a variety of rewards ranging from a lapel pin to a blueprint to a custom dinner tour. If you’re interested, visit the fundraiser by clicking here.