A Chic Detroit Hotel Showcases Local Art and Craft

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By Melissa Dalton
From a large-scale exterior mural to custom light fixtures, the Trumbull & Porter Hotel celebrates local culture and creativity.

The building was originally constructed in 1964 as a Holiday Inn and later became the Corktown Inn before it underwent a 2015 renovation, helmed by Patrick Thompson Design. Thompson's goal was to create a travel destination that could be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. "The ownership wanted to create an authentic neighborhood/city experience but without being too literal," Thompson writes in an email. "We set out to create a boutique experience for today's urban explorer." 

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To do that, Thompson and his team essentially left the hotel's exterior in place, applying a new coat of dark paint, and stripped the interior "down to its bones." Then they "let the cast concrete structure become the backdrop for the bespoke furniture, furnishings, and artwork," writes Thompson, who sourced from a plethora of local artists and craftspeople.

For instance, a mural above the porte cochère, painted by Corktown artist Don Kilpatrick, greets visitors outside. The custom millwork in rooms and the Red Dunn Kitchen, the on-site restaurant, include case goods, beds, and mirrors from Thompson Millwork. 

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Herman Miller and Knoll pieces were sprinkled throughout "because of their close ties with Cranbrook," writes Thompson. "Cranbrook being in our backyard and such an important part of our design history, we felt it important to showcase some signature pieces." 

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Additional art is hand-painted and pressed by Detroit Wood Type Co, while the Golden Sign Company hand-painted the way-finding signage. The light fixtures in the public spaces were designed with Colin Tury and also fabricated locally.

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In the lobby, a prominent large-scale poem from local poet David Blair titled "While I was away" is displayed, summing up the ethos of the project. Writes Thompson, it "sends a message to visitors letting them know why our city is special."

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Trumbull & Porter has 144 rooms; an on-site restaurant, bar, and coffee bar; fitness and business centers; a meeting room for rent; on-site parking; and bicycle rentals from Detroit Bikes. 

Project Credits: 

Design: Patrick Thompson Design 

Carpentry: Thompson Millwork 

Light Fixtures: With Colin Tury 

Artwork: Detroit Wood Type Co 

Signage: Golden Sign Co 

Neon: George Vidas 

Custom bathroom cabinetry: Pollards Bros 

Photography: John D'Angelo

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