Carr Center staffers were scoping out their new digs in Midtown Detroit when they had an “accident by divine order,” as director Oliver Ragsdale put it.

At the Park Shelton on Woodward, the long-running Black arts organization had secured a former retail space to be renovated into a performance studio. That’s when someone glanced up and caught a glimpse of ornate plastering above the current drop ceiling.

Tiles were removed, old architectural drawings were obtained, and the Carr Center discovered it had a gem on its hands: The room wasn’t merely an abandoned retail space — it was the original ballroom from the 1926 Park Shelton Hotel.

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