photo: WWJ/Mike Campbell

Historic Edison Boat Club On Detroit River Set For Demolition

March 20, 2019 - 10:02 am

DETROIT (WWJ) - After more than 100-years as a landmark on the Detroit River, The Edison Boat Club will be demolished at the end of the summer. 

DTE Energy, which owns the property, says it didn't want to pay the $1 million estimated in repairs to keep the building running. 

Member Bob Weyland is trying to plan what he's going to do when the club closes.

"I'm still in a little bit of shock. The club has been around for 105 years and I've got to admit, I was looking forward to when I retired to spending a lot more time here on my boat," Weyland told WWJ's Mike Campbell. "What do we do now? I don't know. I'm still thinking, and I know the board has been thinking about it. They're going to be working with DTE. We'll see what comes out of it, what's going to be done between now and, I guess, Labor Day."

DTE says it understands members are disappointed, but maintaining the facility would be cost prohibitive. The club's utilities are connected via the Conners Creek Power Plant, which is being demolished to make way for a new Fiat Chrysler auto plant, and DTE says infrastructure would be negatively impacted by the construction. 

"We hoped there was an alternative, but our DTE coworkers could not find an affordable, long-term solution for the Boat Club. That said, DTE adjusted its Conners Creek demolition schedule and is investing dollars toward temporary utility infrastructure to allow members to use their slips and the Boat Club through Labor Day," DTE said in an email to members. 

DTE is also offering subsidies to club members to pay for the first- and second-year boat slip rentals at another facility, as well as the cost to transport and launch their boats. 

Weyland said he'll miss the club, which was inviting to all walks of life. 

"It was not fancy but it was comfortable. The camaraderie of the members, they'd come down and say hi. You always knew who was walking around. Some of the people lived on their boats here," he said. 

Demolition will start after the summer season is over.