When I think back to my days going through Detroit in years past, one of the things that always stood out to me were the shadows.

These beautiful, hulking structures with no light on them, save for maybe a little sad blinker on the top for airplanes.

At night walking through town there would just be dark silhouettes in the distance, without even lights from the inside. It was left to your imagination to what they could be.

The biggest visual difference between downtown of yesterday and today is the lights. It seems as if every new project not only gets a facade cleanup, but the owners are proud to show it off.

Which leads me to the Metropolitan.

The Metropolitan is one of the most interesting and beautiful buildings in downtown Detroit. What it doesn’t have in stature— as it’s nowhere near the tallest — it makes up for in character.

A triangular building, it sits on the small part of John R. that curves toward Woodward.

Completed in 1925 and formerly the home to watchmakers and jewelers, it’s sat vacant for a really long time. Here’s a video snippet of how tore up this place was just a few years ago.

The news here is that it’s now becoming the Element Hotel. That’s a Starwood property that focuses on extended-stay customers.

On top of that, quite literally, will be a a rooftop restaurant and bar. It’ll be anchored by retail and dining on the ground floor.

Here’s where Monday, December 17 comes in. That’s because it’s being publicly dedicated by Mayor Mike Duggan and people involved in the project like the Roxbury Group.

The exterior is about to be illuminated in stunning fashion. It’s kinda like if your 93 year old grandma just got a shopping spree for all the best clothes. And a dose of Marvel-inspired Super Serum to let her live another 100 years. Which would be pretty cool.

The Great Hall inside will be open for the first time since it closed nearly 40 years ago.

Here’s what to know if you want to celebrate a bit of Detroit’s history and future after work. Public arrivals start at 4:30 p.m. on the 17th and the ceremony kicks off at 5 p.m. It gets dark a lot earlier now, so you won’t have to wait too long for the lights to come on.

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