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Restoration of historic Belle Isle Newsboy Shelter desperately needed

June 2018

The historic Victorian Newsboy Shelter on Detroit’s Belle Isle is in danger of collapse and desperately needs restoration.  Built in 1911, the wooden structure is rotting after years of neglect.

The historic and architecturally significant shelter for picnickers on Belle Isle has unique conical turrets around the perimeter with archways supported by handcrafted wood columns and detailing throughout and a cedar shingle roof.

The shelter, officially known as shelter No. 1, became known as the Newsboy Shelter, named after the nearby newsboy statue that had been dedicated to Detroit by local media icon James Scripps.

The shelter is currently listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and is one of the oldest structures on the island and one of the first structures visitors see on the island.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Belle Isle Conservancy have launched a fundraising campaign is underway to save the shelter but in the interim, wooden shoring has been put in place to prevent the structure from collapsing and the roof covered over to help prevent further deterioration.

Donations to save the Newsboy Shelter can be made payable to Belle Isle Conservancy at 300 River Place, Suite 2800, Detroit, MI, 48207 or at www.patronicity.com/newsboy


Sources:  https://www.patronicity.com/project/belle_isle_newsboy_shelter_restoration#!, https://www.belleisleconservancy.org/savethenewsboy, http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/06/13/campaign-restore-newsboy-shelter-belle-isle-1911, http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/historic-belle-isle-landmark-at-risk-of-total-collapse.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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