Fifth Estate # 6, March 20-April 1, 1966

Common Council, City of Detroit, 2 Woodward Avenue, Detroit 26, Michigan

Dear Sirs,

A meeting was held Wednesday, March 9 at Burton School promoted through the combined efforts of Cass Community Council, Cass Community Church, Burton School Mother and Dad’s Club, WCO affiliated groups (St.. Patrick’s Parrish and Central Methodist Church, Southern Baptist Convention, Priscilla Hall, St. John’s Episcopal Young Adult Fellowship and Cass Park Baptist Church).

In view of the recent tragic fire at the Arcadia Hotel which displaced its occupants, we feel as members of this community, an urgent necessity of’ an investigation of other hotels and apartment buildings in which similar conditions and violations exist. According to residents of the Arcadia present at our meeting, these dangerous conditions existed: inadequate fire escapes, cooking facilities within sleeping quarters, lack of sufficient exits and exit signs, a burned out elevator shaft (an elevator is required by law in a four-storey building). These conditions indicate why the fire insurance was cancelled eight months ago.

According to newspaper reports there are over a hundred buildings in similar condition. One of the reasons for the perpetuation of such dangers is the “Grandfather Clause.” We request a hearing into such matters following the investigation mentioned above, at which meeting residents will express their concerns. We also recommend the use of this site (Arcadia Hotel) and similar sites for low-cost housing and/or recreational facilities in the area.


Terrence Howard
Earl Wisk
Paul M. Ravens
Mary Carpenter
Howard Chynoweth
Albert J. Johnson
Sister Marie Audrey
Charles R. Rivett
William Taylor
Edmund J. Wills
Bernard Jagille
Patrick Farrell
Robert Gouroll
Richard Orr
Anne C. Russell
Julie Kustra
Jane White
Judith C. Meadows