Goodbye Sheraton

It is the end of an era in Gary, Indiana.  There is a new mayor, and she isn’t just sitting on her hands when it comes to the looming carcass of the old Sheraton hotel which is cuddled up right next to city hall.  She decreed it had to come down this year, and true to her word it is coming down, something  every other mayor before her failed to do.  You can read about the full history of this building over at Sometimes Interesting.

Great monstrous machines are slowly devouring it, and only half of the building was still standing when we stopped by last Sunday.

shearton down


It makes me wonder what locations are next, there are several storefronts that have also been demolished along Broadway.  Ambassador Arms comes to mind, as much as I love that building it is past time it was demolished for safety’s sake.  More on that later.

11 responses

  1. Though it wasn’t a location that should inspire urbex eulogies, this pictures makes a fitting requiem.

    October 17, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    • Diss the Sheraton all you want, the view from the rooftop was totally worth it even if every floor above the second was all just the same thing. Also, where are traveling urbexers going to camp out at now?

      More to the point we’re looking at quite a few demolitions going on in Gary right now. What does the future hold for the city? Will they tear down the Post Office, Horace Mann HS, City Church, or worst of all, Emerson HS? The city has no funds to restore any of these places, there is no incentive for investors; the option is to allow the buildings to decay where they are to the point where they are dangerous like Ambassador, or to be torn down like Sheraton and the store fronts of Broadway. The current action we are seeing will either peter out with what has been done so far and no further, or we may be looking at the loss of several locations over the next few years.

      Yet even more importantly, while it’ll be nice for the mayor to look out her office window and no longer see the sentinel of Gary’s malaise loom over her, why have they not begun demolition of Ambassador, which sheds bricks like a dog with mange losing fur? Especially when it threatens the children who attend the school directly across the street from it? The money spent on Sheraton to make what is likely an empty statement about revitalizing Gary would have been better spent in the service of the people of Gary by bringing Ambassador down. I love Ambassador, it is one of my favorite locations in the city, but it will never be restored and it is too dangerous to leave as is. Currently you can access the upper floors only by the rubble strewn service stairs (since the main stairs collapsed behind Moribund) and the floors are even worse after this damp summer we’ve had. Some intrepid urbexer is going to take a tumble, and rescue services are going to have a dickens of time getting them out safely. There is brave, there is bold, and there is stupid. At this point going to the top is edging into the lines of stupid. If our next winter is as bad as they are forecasting the upper floors of Ambassador may give up the ghost all on their own, just this summer another portion of the outer wall and part of the penthouse garden has collapsed.

      I’m ranting a bit here but it upsets me that given the very limited funding the city has the mayor spends on a token gesture of tearing down a relatively stable (albeit ugly) abandonment rather than a true menace (albeit a lovely one).

      October 17, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      • I hear ya, IP. It’s a shame they can’t at least preserve the other buildings in arrested decay if they can’t tear them down.

        Have to admit I almost shed a bit of a tear over hearing this news about the Sheraton. I’ll have to update the page. Thanks for the shout :)

        October 18, 2014 at 12:59 am

      • That’s the biggest rant we’ve gotten out of you in quite a while, IP, I’m proud of you! Seriously, though, I agree with everything you said. Perhaps, as it is so often in politics, it’s the less meaningful symbol that gets the more important action accomplished.

        October 18, 2014 at 8:17 am

      • How long have you been doing photography locally?

        October 13, 2016 at 11:33 am

      • About ten years, I’d say.

        October 15, 2016 at 9:37 pm

  2. Nice photo!

    October 17, 2014 at 11:30 pm

  3. Mark, thanks!

    SI- Any time my friend! I figured you’d be interested in this one too ;)

    TR- I’ve been feeling a little better this week and as you know better means ranty. Seriously, how the hell do you put up me?

    October 18, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    • Do you have more photos of this? I’m sad but at the same time very interested to see more. :-)

      October 20, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      • I have a few more, but all pretty much the same. I managed to capture a shot of it with the City Hall sign saying “A Great City” again, because that is always hilarious.

        October 20, 2014 at 9:37 pm

      • “great?”

        To quote Inigo: I don’t think this word means what you think it means.

        October 20, 2014 at 9:41 pm

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