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Well the House of David's base of operations was in the city of Benton Harbor, in Berrien County, Michigan's southwestern-most county, where they had an extremely popular amusement park and a strange hotel downtown, which is now abandoned. The city of Benton Harbor is not much different from Detroit or Flint, in that it has suffered greatly from population loss, crime, and poverty, and its downtown is often like a ghost-town.

My visit came early on a weekend morning, so there was not a single other soul about on the streets. There weren't even any cars moving through, and I was able to stand in the middle of the road to casually compose a shot:. They were those guys with the long-bearded baseball team. The exterior was cast in "Hematite," a special form of concrete made of 17 different minerals that sparkled in the sun, a distinctive feature of the House of David's architecture, Kohrman said.

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According to author Christopher Siriano, the hotel was designed by George Whiffen and William Wright--the House of David's favored architects, though to be fair Siriano is persona-non grata with the City of David, since his book is half fabrications and he is known for starting rumors about secret tunnels, hidden rooms, and other sensational things about the organization.

Meyers said the hotel was "remarkably modern" for its day, because there were two windows for each room, and two-thirds of the rooms boasted private baths.

Maybe there was more to this little vegetarian "commune" and their sparkly hotel than meets the eye? Kohrman's own impression after exploring this hotel was that it was "very very odd," and that much of its design was cobbled together, with strangely-proportioned hallways, inexplicable stairway placement, things like a closet built out into a hallway, and the rather utilitarian main lobby that looked as if it were added as an afterthought:.

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Construction on the hotel started in , with House of David members performing all the work themselves. At that point only a four-story shell of the rear half of the building had been completed.

Benjamin Purnell died in before his abuse case went to trial, and the House of David splintered into two factions. Mary's City of David ended up with the hotel hence the name , and work finally resumed in , though it had to be scaled back from its original conception. Keep in mind the Great Depression was in full effect by that time as well.