There’s been a lot of progress here in Detroit, but not much new to report. So, most of what I’m going to share this week is what we are going to do at U-Haul Moving and Storage of Detroit; makes me feel like a politician during the last week of a political campaign.

Look for the Signs on the Roof

NBC-Nabisco Building Detroit circa 1951. Photo courtesy of Robert Klatt.

NBC-Nabisco Building Detroit circa 1951.
Photo courtesy of Robert Klatt.

The biggest news is that we cleared all of the reviews with the city for our roof-top signs and they are being fabricated as I write this. It’s a custom design that will take four-five weeks to produce. As soon as I have photos, I will post them.

The signs are going to be HUGE. They have to be, to match the former National Biscuit Company signs and to be visible to the surrounding area. The challenge will be how to get them here and up on the roof. I’ve suggested that our team review how the space shuttle Endeavour was moved through the streets of LA, or that we rent a couple of helicopters. I was only partially kidding.

No Pane, No Gain

U-Haul NBC-Nabisco Building Detroit - showroom windows

Our building’s windows are one of its distinctive features, particularly the cathederal-style showroom windows.

To bring them back to their former glory, we’re going to replace the lower sections of the showroom windows and use those panes to replace broken panes higher up.

U-Haul NBC-Nabisco Building Detroit - 6th_floor_glass_01

This will be like putting a puzzle together because the panes are not uniform in size. The panes in the outer windows are larger than the panes of the inner windows.

We’re also replacing the broken glass in the sixth floor windows with double-pane glass. This is not only energy efficient, but will really “open up” the floor with light.

Weighing In

U-Haul NBC-Nabisco Building Detroit - buffalo_scaleWe discovered two Buffalo Scale Company scales in the building that we plan to keep as interior design features. They are pretty cool. The Buffalo Scale Company was organized in 1860 and shipped scales to all parts of the world. In the 1880s, the company made an average of 19,000 scales a year. A large number of them were bought by the United States government as standard equipment. As the company grew, it specialized in heavy-type weighers such as railway truck, motor truck, wagon, hopper and platform scales like the ones used in this and other NBC-Nabisco plants.

We Want Your Input

That’s it for this week. If I were a politician, I’d ask for your vote. Instead, I’ll just ask for your opinion. Let me know what you think. This blog was created to let the community know that U-Haul is in Detroit, and to share our plans with you and to get input from the community. We want to hear from you. Tell us what you like and don’t like about our posts, building plans or anything else you want to share about Detroit. We are excited to be part of the Detroit community and want to learn from you!

Stay tuned. Next update 11/05.


2 Responses to Sign of the Times, No Pane No Gain – 10/29/12

  1. bsrk7 says:

     Since you asked for input, I thought I’d comment to say I think this blog is great! I was a bit confused at first, because I couldn’t imagine that this was the same U-Haul that rented moving trucks. I really had no idea that your company was so committed to sustainability and revitalizing cities like Detroit. It’s a very pleasant surprise!

    I hope you guys keep fighting the good fight! I have a lot more respect for U-Haul now and will be sure to let people know what a cool company it is.

  2. Pref says:

    Thanks bsrk7. From day one U-Haul has
    been committed to adapting and reusing existing materials. Our first
    trailers were built in 1945 using surplus steel, tires and recycled
    wood. Our co-founders came from a rural background and frugality was
    in their blood. Back then, they called it good husbandry or good
    stewardship. Today we call it sustainability.

    One of the things that make me proud to
    work for U-Haul is that the NBC-Nabisco building here in Detroit
    isn’t their first revitalization project. Since 1976, when the
    company opened its first center, U-Haul has revitalized more than 300
    facilities; from car dealerships to peanut factories, from cigar
    factories to bowling alleys. If you haven’t already done so, check
    out some of the revitalization stories on this blog.

    Yeah, it’s a pretty cool company.

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