Aerials; Detroit; New Center Area; Detroit Uptown.--Fisher Bldg.--General Motors bldg.--New Center bldg.--Surrounding area.

1953-07

Bird's-eye view of the General Motors Building, renamed Cadillac Place in 2002 (left) and the Fisher Building, in Detroit, Michigan both were designed by architect, Albert Kahn. “The mammoth General Motors Building, with its eighteen hundred offices, symbolizes the power, prestige, and scale of one of the largest manufacturing corporations in the world, the fifteen-story building consists of an elongated central block with four projecting wings on the front and four in back, which allow ample natural light and greater air circulation for the employees, a five-story annex is at the rear, created to house a wide scope of activities under one roof, the building contains an auditorium and exposition halls, as well as auto display rooms, shops, a gymnasium, a cafeteria, and lounges, the structure was completed in 1923 … the limestone-faced, steel-frame structure vividly exemplifies Louis Sullivan's tripartite concept of the tall building: an open, arcaded basement element carries unbroken vertical piers through ten stories to a colonnaded crown, Kahn's treatment differs from Sullivan's, however, in that he concedes to the prevailing taste of the period by making his ornament classical," from the Michigan Historic Sites webpage. "In the late 1920s, the Fishers hired master architect Albert Kahn to design a building as both a philanthropic and commercial investment, the Fisher brothers wanted to spare no expense, and Kahn designed a $9 million Art Deco masterpiece that lavished 1/4 of its expense on art work and luxury materials ... designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989, the Fisher Building features a 28-story set-back Art Deco tower, the interior is bisected by a 44 foot high barrel-vaulted arcade and every inch is opulently decorated with bronze, gold leaf, and over forty types of exotic marbles mined in quarries in Africa, Italy, and Carthage, Missouri," from The National Register of Historic Places website.


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