May’s I Spy was “the Weinmann Block on East Washington,” writes Dan Romanchik. “Michael Weinmann [and John Gall] built a meat market at 223 E. Washington in 1868,” writes Silvia Ruiz. “In 1892, [Weinmann] built the building to the left of it,” she continues; it was the more ornate structure at 219 E. Washington that we depicted in May. “For the ‘new’ building,” writes David Karl, “they used decorative pressed sheet metal” on the facade. It was, Susan Wineberg writes in Historic Buildings, Ann Arbor, “an inexpensive and practical way to simulate cast iron, stone pillars and carved decoration.” Karl and Wineberg point out that “only a few [examples] have survived” in Michigan.
Sara Kitzsteiner added that old-timers will remember the building as Fischer Hardware, which occupied it from 1937 until 1982. It was then renovated by developer Peter Allen. Now, as Barb Tester says, it “looks like the front of The Blue Nile restaurant.” It is; Blue Nile has occupied the entire building since a 2005 expansion.
We received nine entries correctly identifying the Weinmann Block. Our random drawing winner is David Frye who points us to the Architecture Archive at AADL.org for more information. David will enjoy his $25 gift certificate at Zingerman’s.
To enter this month’s contest, use the photo and clue on the Back Page and the information at the bottom of that page to submit your answer.