Green roofs to be installed atop historic Bell Building - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Green roofs to be installed atop historic Bell Building

Posted: Updated:
The exterior of the Michigan Bell Building The exterior of the Michigan Bell Building
DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -

Crews put in the building blocks for a rooftop garden high above the streets of Detroit. The green roof is on the sixth floor of the former Michigan Bell Building where phone books were once printed.

The 1929 building sat vacant for decades until the Neighborhood Service Organization bought it and renovated it, creating permanent supportive housing for people who are homeless.

The building now has 155 one-bedroom apartments. Residents receive job training, treatment programs and other services. They pay 30 percent of their income towards rent.

"They moved here straight out of shelters or from a freeway viaduct, abandoned building, into this building and, really, giving them a new chance at life," says Sheilah Clay, president of the NSO.

This spring they'll help do all the planting on the roof which was paid for with generous donations from DTE Energy and Ford Motor Co.

"The green roof really gives the people who live in this building an opportunity to learn horticulture, to start growing their own vegetables," Clay shares. "We know that gardening and landscaping is very therapeutic."

"From an environmental standpoint [the green roof] collects rainwater and helps with the runoff of that rainwater. It also helps take pollutants out of the air," explains Fred Shell, president of DTE Energy Foundation. The roof will also help insulate the building.

The DTE Energy Foundation donates millions each year to hundreds of nonprofits.
    
Two more green roofs are planned for the future on the second and seventh floor of this building. The NSO is still looking for donors for those projects.

LINK: Click here for donor information

NOTE: Click the green 'Make a donation' button

"We think it's important that we really focus on our environment, not only at the large world level, but also at the local level," Shell says.

When the roof is complete it will be a quiet place for residents to relax and reflect. They'll watch it grow as they grow and turn their lives around.

  • Robin SchwartzRobin SchwartzMore>>

  • Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:38:55 GMT
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
  • 33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:10:22 GMT
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
  • Handmade furniture from Detroit reclaimed lumber

    Handmade furniture from Detroit reclaimed lumber

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 4:18 PM EDT2014-07-23 20:18:32 GMT
    A new brand of furniture is made with wood from deconstructed Detroit homes. The tables are now being sold at Gardner White Furniture stores.
    A new brand of furniture is made with wood from deconstructed Detroit homes. The tables are now being sold at Gardner White Furniture stores.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Military reservist killed during carjacking on Detroit's west side

    Military reservist killed during carjacking on Detroit's west side

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:55 AM EDT2014-07-29 12:55:44 GMT
    A man was shot to death in an attempted carjacking on Detroit's west side, according to police.
    A man was shot to death in an attempted carjacking on Detroit's west side, according to police.
  • Grosse Pointe Park's new farmer's market seen by some as a barrier to Detroit

    Grosse Pointe Park's new farmer's market seen by some as a barrier to Detroit

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:25 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:25:26 GMT
    Some Detroiters are calling for a boycott of Grosse Pointe Park after the city built a farmer's market that they believe cuts off access to and from Detroit.
    Some Detroiters are calling for a boycott of Grosse Pointe Park after the city built a farmer's market that they believe cuts off access to and from Detroit.
  • Detroit teen recovering after basketball accident at park

    Detroit teen recovering after basketball accident at park

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:51:50 GMT
    A Detroit teen is seriously hurt after an accident at a Detroit park. He has a long road to recovery ahead, but has a strong support system that isn't giving up hope.
    A Detroit teen is seriously hurt after an accident at a Detroit park. He has a long road to recovery ahead, but has a strong support system that isn't giving up hope.

Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices