Forgotten Detroit
Book-Cadillac Hotel

The Italian Garden

Italian Garden"From a standpoint of grandeur the grand ballroom stands first among all the features of the hotel. But it remains for the Italian Garden on the same floor to be the most novel and interesting."

"This beautiful room is designed to be as its name suggest, a garden transported from some villa of sunny Italy. The ceiling is constructed of a peculiar type of glass which when illuminated from above gives the nearest possible approach to daylight. By means of carefully designed electrical equipment this ceiling can be made to take on the appearance of a blue Italian sky with soft floating clouds and bright sun, or quiet twilight with darkness gradually settling and stars and moon becoming visible in the sky. Or it may be that the sky will be suddenly overcast, the stars and moon gradually disappear and ugly jagged streaks of lighting light up the sky and thunder boom out and one will hear the shriek of the storm. After a while the storm will have passed over and the clouds clear from the sky so that the effect of a beautiful Italian night is again conveyed. Amber, rose, sunset and sunrise effects may also be produced."

"It would be difficult to analyze the means by which the use of the hues of the rainbow sweeps like the swiftly changing dawn through the silver dome of the special glass reproducing the rise and set of the sun, and the storms and sunshine of the changing seasons. The finest electro-mechanics are employed. It was accomplished by the Major Preselective Remote Control switchboard automatically operated."

"The Italian Garden makes a feature of these marvelous lighting effects. It is quite natural that if the ear is appealed to through the harmony of music, simultaneously the eye receive the harmony of light and thus the entertainment gains added pleasure. The beautiful painted and latticed walls are capped with specially adapted silvered glass, forming the ceiling, illuminated by more then 160,000 candlepower lights with four colors. The balcony side walls are formed by mirror panels and each is provided with cresset in four colors. In the center of the floor an electric fountain may be placed. Each table is provided with individual lights and telephone connections, also electric warming plugs."

"The Italian Garden, opening from the spacious foyer of the great ballrom forms a graceful arcade court with vaulted pendentives supporting the wide overhanging roofs and sheltered from the weather by an awning of glass. Its masonary walls are interestingly covered with lattice work panels and its entrances controlled by gates of intricate wrought iron, thus forming an appropriate setting for its flowers, shrubbery and garden furniture."

Copyright 1999 - 2004, David Kohrman
Last updated on April 27, 2004