No the auditorium was in a completely different part of Cass. The building was huge. Google around.
There's a website that shows an interactive blueprint of the school, where you can click on parts
and get shots of how it looked right before it came down. I think the same site has videos of it
being torn down.
What gets me so angry about the Cass photos is how wasteful that broken and dysfunctional school
district was. Here the city and school district were on the road to declaring bankruptcy, thus
becoming the problem of all Michigan taxpayers (and to a certain extent, all U.S. taxpayers), but
they fill the building with perfectly good furniture and leave it there to rot. They didn't think to
have a salvage auction and empty the building? Disgraceful!
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Haley" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 5:52 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Old Mercury recording venue gets a rebuild
>I will check one of my Detroit bcasts from way back there. It probably
> says where it is coming from. It wouldn't be from a place built in the
> I just checked one of them, and the announcer says it is coming from the
> Masonic Temple in Detroit, before an audience of 5000 people (that's a very
> big space, especially for a concert hall).
> Re Cass Auditorium, was it really the gymnasium shown in the pic in that
> link? I would think that a real gym like this would be way too reverberant
> for good recording.
> Best, John
> On Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 4:48 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> Hi John:
>> Edsel Ford Auditorium was brand spanking new in the mid-50's, early in the
>> Mercury contract with Detroit. The Ford family was more than generous to
>> the orchestra, so politics dictated that recordings be made in the Ford
>> Auditorium. It took several years to convince the orchestra board to allow
>> recordings in old orchestra hall (the Paradise Theatre). Cass was well
>> known by Detroit recording folks, but it wasn't even on Mercury's radar
>> until the Paradise Theatre got too dangerous and delapidated to use for
>> Aside from being a great acoustic space, Cass Auditorium was a chamber
>> within a building, so it was very quiet to traffic, airplanes, train
>> rumble, etc. This is one of the coolest photo spreads I've seen about Cass:
>> Cass was also a great institution in its day, an idea about
>> vocational-education that is sorely needed today. Cass kids came out of
>> high school with job skills and practical training, as well as book
>> learning. This concept is pretty much alien to public education today.
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "John Haley" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 4:25 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Old Mercury recording venue gets a rebuild
>> Starting in 1934 and continuing for a number of years thereafter, the
>>> Detroit Symphony appeared on a radio program, the Ford Symphony Hour.
>>> of the most distinguished conductors of that time regularly guested on
>>> show, which also featured big name soloists. Preserved broadcasts show
>>> that the orchestra was an excellent one during this period, and the
>>> acoustics audible on these recordings sound OK, with a touch of nice hall
>>> ambiance. A number of these broadcasts are sought after by collectors. I
>>> don't know where these shows were recorded, but I assume they predate the
>>> Ford Auditorium referred to previously.
>>> John Haley
>>> On Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 3:57 PM, Leo Gillis <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Hi Tom,
>>>> I must second that statement.
>>>> The Ford Auditorium had one of the worst acoustics
>>>> it has ever been my (dis)pleasure to experience.
>>>> No real music lover was saddened at the news of its demolition a couple
>>>> years ago.
>>>> I used to joke that the best sounding concert I ever attended there was
>>>> Marcel Marceau :-)
>>>> Meanwhile, a couple miles away on Woodward is the magnificent Orchestra
>>>> which has one of the best acoustics of any hall anywhere,
>>>> and it was built in a matter of 5 months - probably not to any
>>>> 'scientific' principles!
>>>> In between these two extremes, the excellent auditorium (and entire
>>>> of Cass Technical High School is now demolished.
>>>> Perhaps you have some info on the recording session for Berlioz'
>>>> Symphonie Fantastique that Paul Paray and the DSO did there for Mercury?
>>>> Despite my hometown bias, this is still one of my favorite versions of
>>>> that work.
>>>> -- Leo Gillis
>>>> On Tue, 3/18/14, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Old Mercury recording venue gets a rebuild
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Date: Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 7:11 PM
>>>> As bad as Northrop was as a recording venue, the absolute
>>>> worst was the Edsel Ford Auditorium in Detroit. This was
>>>> another "modern" venue designed by "science." It was almost
>>>> unusable for stereo recording and barely usable for mono
>>>> recording. Mercury ended up using the old orchestra hall,
>>>> then called the Paradise Theatre and used at other times by
>>>> a local evangelical church. Then Cass Technical High
>>>> School's wonderful auditorium was "discovered," just in time
>>>> for 35mm recording and improved stereo cutting.
>>>> -- Tom Fine