Detroit has a lot of historic and amazing buildings. Sadly many, if not most, of these spaces have fallen into the downward spiral of vacancy and disrepair that plagues a large portion of the city. One of the coolest things about being connected with electronic music culture in Detroit is the times when you get to hear some music in one of these disused but historically significant venues. I first remember visiting the Bohemian National Home in the late 90s. I wouldn’t know the buildings proper name for many years, but I remember being amazed by the buildings old school architectural beauty and simultaneous underground vibe. I have always noted this particular feeling every time I have visited the Bo House in subsequent years.
The Bohemian National Home has a truly storied history. It even has its own Wikipedia page. I’m not going to recite the whole history, but the space was built in 1914, and has served as venue for performances, gatherings, cultural events, and all kinds of other social get-togethers ever since. The Bohemian, also called the Bo House, or even known by its cross-street name to ravers as “Butternut and Tillman”, has also been used on and off as a venue for some pretty amazing Techno and House events throughout the years. The building also features several different rooms, including an amazing ballroom on the second floor, so the location of events inside the Bohemian always varies.
Some of my first times at the Bohemian National Home were in the days of map points and call-the-night-of –the-party hotlines that often gave dubious directions to raves. I always referred to the place by its cross-street name in these days, but it stood out in my mind as one of my favorite venues. Over the years since, I have been privileged enough to occasionally attend some amazing events at the Bohemian, including post-DEMF after-parties, Devil’s Night shindigs, and showcases of some next-level techno from Europe. Every time I visit the Bohemian, it’s kind of like a new experience, and is always memorable. Although it seems to have been idle over the past few years, given its history, I’m sure the Bohemian National Home will be host to some memorable events in the future.