A History of Trumbull and Porter

David Blair, the poet who lived in, died in and called Detroit his true home, wrote this about our city, “I stay, even when I go.” His eloquently delivered sentiment captures the passion Detroit incites inside of all those who claim this city as theirs. Our hotel’s story mirrors the story of Detroit in many ways. We are Detroit strong – we are Michigan strong.

In the mid-sixties, Detroit lost much of its previous luster, but was still riding high on the pride of being the original all-American town. Built on the backs of hard-working laborers, Detroit was known country-wide as our automobile capital. The 60s were a time of family road trips with father at the wheel of an American-made car. Detroit was a much-desired destination on par with Niagara Falls. The city needed a hotel worthy of it and city council marked the perfect location, two blocks away from beloved Tiger Stadium on Trumbull Street, across from Dean Savage Memorial Park. The Holiday Inn Detroit was soon conceived and built on this ideal site to fill the need with amenities rarely seen. It opened to the delight of the city and travelers with a sprawling courtyard, a large outdoor swimming pool, an onsite fine-dining restaurant and 144 spacious rooms complete with every modern luxury.

The Holiday Inn eventually shed its brand flag and became an independent hotel, the locally owned Corktown Inn, remaining so for twenty years. A deep dip in the auto industry and overall decline in the economic health of the area, not to mention a country-wide recession, brought about many unwelcome changes. By the end of the century, portions of Detroit fell into disrepair. The present ownership group bought the hotel in October of 2014 because their ties in the state of Michigan and to Michigan State University were strong. They renamed the storied property the Corktown Hotel. After careful planning and working with the city of Detroit to develop a plan, Leo Lee began the hotel’s incredible transformation together with area businesses.

Simply by reading our story, you are now a part of it. We welcome you to the Trumbull and Porter Detroit hotel with open arms. We hope you’ll embrace our vision and a part of you will feet better, even when you go. If you do, you’ll always be able to call Trumbull and Porter home.

“I stay, even when I go.”  -David Blair

The Story Continues

Now we’re proud to present Detroit’s first artisan boutique hotel, the Trumbull and Porter. Through every up and every down, Detroiters’ loyalty never wavered; they only waited for a resurgence. The renaissance has begun and the new Trumbull and Porter is at the forefront.

Our roots dig deep into Detroit soil. We never forget who we are or from where we have come – to that end, we have rebuilt the hotel using the best contractors, artists, designers, staff, hard and soft goods suppliers, and more that Detroit has to offer. Nearly all the work and supplies for the $11 million project were sourced in Michigan. Our partners include local names like Detroit Bikes and Batch Brewing company.

ROK Construction and Patrick Thompson Design lead the renovation. We simply don’t believe in “run of the mill” here. From the iconic desk chairs and side tables of Herman Miller, to the beds, unique hanging closets and marble desks by Thompson Millworks, to the couches by Grand Rapids Chair, to the words of much-loved Detroit poet David Blair on display in the lobby and the art collection inside and out, this hotel is one-of-a-kind.

The emotion behind David Blair’s words, “I stay, even when I go” can be seen in the original mural created by celebrated Corktown artist Don Kilpatrick displayed in a place of honor above the porte-cochère. We live and breathe Detroit here down to the lobby centerpieces, two original Burroughs adding machines. Our own Burroughs Lounge is named after the Burroughs Adding Machine Company, a Michigan staple born in 1886.

The Red Dunn Kitchen was inspired by an original piece of art that hung in the Steak Room restaurant of the Holiday Inn Detroit, proudly bearing a portrait of a champion cockerel. The Steak Room has been resurrected as a private dining venue. A meeting room we lovingly call The Corktown ensures the Corktown name is as important as ever and the Irish immigrants who fled the potato famine in 1845 to settle here will always be a part of our heritage. Behind the Trumbull and Porter hotel is a courtyard that has found new life as a music venue, art venue, and beer garden. Downtown Detroit residents and visitors alike enjoy local bands in warm weather months in a casual lawn setting in the courtyard filled with the Detroit vibe. To put it simply, we are Detroit.