The American Legion Post 282 on South Huron in Downtown Ypsilanti was destroyed by fire last night. The fire started in the back of the building in the kitchen bar area. City of Ypsilanti firefighters were first on the scene about 11:30p Sunday and found the back of the building engulfed in flames.
Firefighters from five departments responded including the City of Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township, City of Ann Arbor, Pittsfield Township, and Superior Township. They battled the fire through out the night in bitterly cold weather finally leaving the scene well after 8am. Huron Street remained closed for most of the morning.
Ypsilanti firefighters were called back twice more today as flames and smoke re-erupted from the pile of debris. Ypsilanti firefighters then assisted Post members to retrieve priceless artifacts and records from inside the building. The post has been in the same location for some 80 years.
Click on photo for a gallery of pictures from the fire and aftermath.
- [Update 2 — Feb 12, 2008 7.41p] Corrected misspelling, changed time from 4am to 8am when firefighters left the scene. The errors were in reporting by YpsiNews.com.
(February 11, 2008) Depending on when you moved to Ypsilanti, you may call the building the Mack and Mack or perhaps you called it the Valencia Gym. Either way, you can now call it sold.
Eric and Karen Maurer of Maurer Management have purchased the long empty 22,000 s.f. building at 211 to 215 West Michigan Avenue in Downtown Ypsilanti. The building sits between Bombadill’s Coffee Shop and TC’s Speakeasy Bar and Grill.
The Maurer’s are one of the largest property owners and investors in Ypsilanti. Besides owning a number of residential buildings in the Midtown and EMU area, they also own three other buildings in Downtown Ypsilanti including the Kresge building and lofts at 200 W. Michigan and 128-130 W. Michigan Avenue with the What Is That Gallery having just opened over the weekend.
Karen Maurer said, “We are very excited about this project. Our intent is to do the same thing we did at 200 W. Michigan with upscale lofts and retail on the first floor.”
The building has been for sale for nearly 6 years and many see this as the missing link in the final build out of downtown Ypsilanti. With Spark planning to locate a business incubator at the Smith Building, the Mack and Mack building was one of the last large parcels available downtown.
The Mongolian BBQ Restaurant is still planning to open this year in the Kresge Building. David Curtis, who is a partner in J. Neill’s Mongolian BBQ, said they are installing the kitchen this month and are making great progress. Passer-byers will see the spectacular tin ceiling that was recently installed in the restaurant.
With this most recent purchase, the Maurer’s are now the largest property owners in Downtown Ypsilanti.
Ice Sculptures in the Elijah McCoy Park next to the Ypsilanti Library, Downtown Ypsilanti.