Sunday, January 19, 2014

Some Buildings Around Detroit

Yesterday I ended up going to Detroit.  I should have thought about it a bit because it was cold and busy from the Auto Show.
 First up is the Book Tower.  This is not to be confused with the nearby Book-Cadillac Building.  The tower was meant as an addition to the original Book Building.  Construction began in 1916 and was completed in 1926.
 At 38 stories and 475 feet tall, the Book Tower was the tallest building in Detroit until the completion of the Penobscot Building in 1928.  There was supposed to be an 81 story tower at the other end of the building but the Great Depression but the wraps on that.  In the mid 80's, things started going bad for the building.  In 1988, the owners defaulted on their mortgage and in 1989 it was taken over by Traveler's Insurance.  They in turn sold the building to John Lambrecht who intended to renovate this (like the Cadillac Tower) but his death later in the year put the stop to that.  His widow took over and made some improvements but couldn't keep up.  The building has gone through a few owners and there may be plans to do something with it.
 I seriously hope that something can be done with this building.  It would be a shame to have this building end up in the same condition as the Michigan Central Train Station. 
 These are called Caryatids.  They are sculptures used in the support of the building.
 Imagine if the 81 story tower were completed.  That would have made it the tallest building in Detroit (even now).
 Across the street is Saint Aloysius.  The Parish itself was founded in 1873 and this building was constructed in 1930.  Saint Aloysius himself administered to sick people at a Jesuit hospital although he wasn't ordained at the time.  He died in 1591 of the plague and was canonized 137 years later.
 Looking up at the front of the church.  It looks like a fairly urban church.  It reminds me of one of the churches I saw in Chicago and New York.
 Some of the decorations.  The phrase is from Acts of the Apostles 2:4-8 and means "And they were full of the Holy Spirit".
 Pretty close to the Book Tower is the David Stott building.  It is one of many Art Deco buildings in Detroit and was completed in 1929.  In many ways it reminds me of the Guardian Building.
 Not sure what this building was but I did like the urbanscape.
 Speaking of the Guardian Building and Penobscot Buildings.  The Guardian Building is the orange one to the right and the Penobscot Building is the tall one to the right behind the other buildings.
 Looking at the Stott building from an odd angle.
 The front of the Stott Building.  Unlike a few other buildings in Detroit, this one is actually occupied.
 Looking up at the Stott Building.
 One more angle of the Stott Building.
 One more view of the Guardian Building.
 The Book-Cadillac Hotel is a 29 story building built by the Book Brothers.  They wanted to turn Detroit's Washington Boulevard into the "Fifth Avenue of the West".  The building was completed in 1924.  It feel into abandonment for a while and recently was renovated as a hotel.  The Book-Cadillac was the residence of the Purple Gang for a long time.
 The Theodore Levin Courthouse was built in 1934 and serves as a Federal Court.  The person it is named served as a district judge.  One of his nephews is Carl Levin who is a long serving US Senator for Michigan.  His other nephew is Sander Levin who has served in the Congress for a long time.
 Some of the details on the Book-Cadillac.
 On one side of Washington Boulevard stands a statue of Casimir Pulaski.  He came from Poland to help with the American Revolution.  He was one of a few people that was granted honorary American Citizenship.  He died in 1779 in Savannah, Georgia.  He was wounded by grapeshot while attempting to rally French troops.
 Another angle of the Book-Cadillac.
 The People Mover goes over Michigan Avenue.
 Another angle of the Book Tower.
 A statue of Alexander Macomb.  He fought in the War of 1812 as a Brigadier General.  He fought at the Battle of Plattsburgh with 1500 men and defeated a much larger British force.   He later became Commanding General of the US Army.  He died in 1841 at the age of 59.
 I'm not sure what building this is but I kind of like its looks.
 Another view of St. Aloysius.
 A frieze at the top of the entrance to the Book Tower.
 Looking up at the statues.
 This is the Industrial Bank Building.  It has 22 stories and was designed by Louis Kamper.  He was the one that also designed the Book Tower.  This building was completed in 1928.  This one is another example of Art Deco.
 Looking down Woodward.
Looking down towards the Renaissance Center.

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