Visiting Detroit’s Legendary Buildings

Detroit is a city crammed with impressive historical buildings. Many of these notable structures have played an important role in shaping the cityscape.

Fisher Building

This is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable buildings in Detroit. It's been designated as “Detroit’s biggest art object.” The top level of this 28-story Art Deco structure towers high in the sky at a powerful 444 feet. The rich and powerful Fisher siblings hired Joseph Nathaniel French to design the building back in 1928 as a huge commercial complicated. The building homes retail shops, a massive live theater and art studios. 1 or 2 different radio stations had also staged their broadcasts from the building during its history.

Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Building

Union Military veterans of the Civil War needed to have a building created for members of G.A.R. To conduct their civic and business activities. Richard Romanesque (who the design style was named after) and Julian Hess made the outside of this 5-story structure back in 1897 to give the appearance of a castle. G.A.R. Members had the benefit of visiting the bank or one of the shops found inside the building. As veterans of the war died across the years, the building finally became vacant. Plans for a huge re-building are presently in the works. Even though this is proving to be one of the smallest historical buildings in Detroit, it still is an important role in the development of the city.

General Motors Building

This building, now known as “Cadillac Place,” is among the most significant buildings in Detroit. It played a big part in the development of Detroit’s automobile industry. Company heads at General Motors had the 15-story building designed by Albert Kahn in a Neo-Classical architectural style. Construction was finished in 1923. General Motors used it as their HQ from the building’s inception until 2001. It's one of the most recognisable buildings in Detroit. The structure now houses offices providing state services.

The Guardian Building

The Union Trust Bank wanted a massive space for their HQ, so they commissioned the building to be built by Wirt Rowland. It was completed in 1929, the year of the devastating The Street crash. The 40-story building was ready to survive through the liberal support of stockholders. The Mayan Revival-inspired structure has been nick-named the “Cathedral of Finance” for the high ceilings and decorations resembling a massive cathedral. A lot of the building is at present available for enterprises to lease.

Michigan Central Station

Construction was finished to this critical transportation center in 1913. It was once the world's tallest train station, boasting an 18-story tower. Architectural firm Reed and Stem combined forces with Warren and Wetmore to craft the Beau-Arts design structure. It once serviced as much as 200 trains each day. The station stopped rail service in the late 1980s. The building currently sits generally empty. Minor restorations have been implemented to try and keep one of the most loved historical buildings in Detroit from further rot.

Karen Helman has been fascinated by landmarks in Detroit for years. She has written op-eds and editorial pieces for many online publications. For more details about buildings in Detroit come and visit her site.

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