Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Memories of the Swayze Apartments

A reader is looking for any memories or information on the Swayze Apartments at 313 W. Court Street. Can anyone help him out? Thanks.


  1. Oh I feel bad for the loss of this apartment building.

    Back in the late 90s I had a friend I've since lost touch with who lived there. I was only in the building two or three times, but it seemed to my eye to be a well put together and sturdy structure with carpeted hallways. I also recall that it had an old school elevator but that might be a memory from another building.

    These days I avoid going to Flint if I can, however I do like to entertain the idea of revitializing The Swazye and renting it out once again.

    I have noticed that one of the small hallway windows in the center of the building has been l left open year round to the elements. Are there ways of prepping a building so that damage will result minimally and over a longer period of time? I sure would like to see this building used to fulfill its purpose once again. Since the old school across from The White Horse is going to be changed into a senior living center (where are they gonna shop without Witherbees?)it seems someone would throw some TLC toward the Swazye and bring it back to life.

  2. I (barely) remember often visiting my friends who lived here back in the 1980's. We used to party in preparation for a night at the Hot Rock or the Torch. One of my friends (who I won't name), after moving out, once broke into her old apartment, thinking she still lived there! Obviously, alcohol was a factor!

  3. All hail Al Korth, one of Flint's all-time greatest bass players.

    Hey, get that Process-Fun In The Deadzone tape to the FUMA stat.

  4. I actually lived there in the late seventies. I was a youngster at the time...many of the resident were retirees. The apartments were 1 bedroom, 1 bath. No air conditioning and they regulated the heat. Very little parking available. The lobby was small with a sweet little fireplace. I do not recall an elevators...just stairs. Simply put...no frills. :0) There was a building on left that was so close that I could actually hear conversations the people would have...guess they could hear mine too. I have very fond memories of this place. I've moved to another state and was not aware it was boarded up ..so sad.

  5. Hanging out in Thomas Totten's bedroom surrounded by a huge array of burning candles listening to something I'd never heard of in his infamous record collection. I believe Joel Rash was living downstairs at the time. That place was definitely an extension of the downtown scene in the late 80s/early 90s.

  6. Anonymous, I couldn't post your comment because of the specific mention of a certain disreputable landlord with an usual name. All true, but I try to stay clear of potential legal entanglements. Feel free to rephrase minus the name. Thanks.

    By the way, he's out of prison now.

  7. I heard it's listed at 90k. A bit steep imo. Someone would buy it if it was better priced or maybe fixed up a little. Last time I stopped there the back was wide open. I went to the first landing but I got the impression there were squatters so I left. Sad for this cool building to be forgotten.

  8. I lived there for awhile in the late 90s. My daughter was born in that building. It was beautiful when I lived there and had a fabulous landlord, but she sold it during our time there and it went downhill from there. I have lots of memories from it, if anyone needs them.

  9. There is news about the apartment buidling being renovated for the homeless.

    "The building, built in 1924, was created by William Ballenger, a founder of General Motors, and is being considered for addition to the National Register of Historic Places."



Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.