Hotel Fort Shelby

MCP Developments
Detroit, MI

Facade, Roofing, and Building Structure Evaluation

Vacant since the early 1980s, the majority of the building had been left to deteriorate. WJE was retained by a developer to provide professional services to evaluate the exterior facade, roofing, and building structure in anticipation of adaptive reuse as a mixed-use hotel and condominium. The evaluation included exploratory openings in the exterior walls and building structure, and material testing by WJE's Janney Technical Center.


The hotel consists of two adjacent structures. The original 10-story building, constructed in 1916, was designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Schmidt, Garden, and Martin (SGM). The second phase, a 22-story building located on the west end of the site, was designed by Detroit's Albert Kahn Architects in 1926. Both structures consist of clay brick masonry, limestone, and terra cotta backed with clay tile and masonry infill.


WJE engineers provided a 100 percent inspection of the facade from afar and a close-up inspection at select locations, including exploration openings and material analysis. The engineers conducted and analysis and evaluation of the roof assemblies and building structure. Based on the findings, WJE presented a comprehensive report to the client, describing the condition of the building envelope and structure. The report included recommendations for the modification and repair of the building systems to accommodate the stated adaptive re-use.