Historic Auburn Hills log cabin now a co-working space with wireless internet, free coffee

The historic collided with the modern in downtown Auburn Hills this month. The DEN, a co-working space complete with the expected amenities, opened in the oldest building in Auburn Hills in early February. The co-working space requires paid membership for access from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free and open to the public from 4 p.m. to midnight on weekdays. General public access begins at 2 p.m. on weekends.

The Nusbaumer Homestead Log Cabin was built in 1836. The Nusbaumer family would be quite surprised by the state of their cabin today, what with it being outfitted with high speed wireless internet; a communal printer, copier, and scanner; and conference rooms. Even the location has changed; the log cabin was moved from its original site near the Joslyn and I-75 interchange to downtown Auburn Hills in 1986.

City officials have kept the structure largely intact but made it more attractive to modern workers, offering ergonomic office furniture and complimentary tea and coffee in addition to the other office amenities. That juxtaposition is what makes Auburn Hills special, says the city's director of authorities, Samantha Mariuz.

"Our motto is, 'Honoring the past, building the future'," says Mariuz. "We took the DEN and built something that honors that motto."

The structure itself is 1500 square feet and retains a number of original exposed structural beams. What's not original are the electrical outlets at every seat. There is a patio and a common work area to congregate, as well as a number of independent work stations.

The DEN is located at 3388 Auburn Rd. in Auburn Hills.

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