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Fisher Building

Identification

Fisher Building
118477

Map

Structure in General

skyscraper
existing [completed]
steel
bronze
granite
marble
applied masonry
Art Deco

Usages

commercial office
shop(s) service branch(es) restaurant radio transmission theater/opera

Facts

  • It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
  • Built as headquarters for the Fisher Company, which pioneered the closed automobile body. It was also a showpiece for the seven Fisher brothers who commissioned it, who employed some of the top talent and best materials of the era in creating it.
  • The Fisher Building was inaugurated November 11, 1928.
  • An underground passageway connects the Fisher Building to the Cadillac Place across the street.
  • Considered Albert Kahn's most important non-industrial project from the 1920's, The Fisher Building won the 1929 Silver Medal Award of the Architectural League of New York as the most beautiful commercial building erected that year, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989.
  • At the time of construction this was located 2500 feet from Detroit's center of population. The intention was to make this a second commercial center, to relieve congestion in the Downtown district.
  • The interior features a rotunda near the entrance and a 44-foot high arcade. Both are richly ornamented, much of the work having been done by the Hungarian artist Geza Maroti with strong influence of the Arts and Crafts movement.
  • The building's massing includes the tower and two eleven-story wings running to the north and west.
  • The Fisher Theater was once 3,500 seats in size, but after its conversion into a live theater house from a movie theater house in 1961 the seating was reduced to 2,089 to keep an intimate feel.
  • This is, by far, the tallest building in Detroit outside of the Central Business District.
  • Marble types used in the arcade include Golden-Vein Tavernelle from Tennessee, Cardiff Green from Maryland, Carthage from Missouri, Verdi Antique from Vermont, Mar Villa from Maryland, red marble from Germany, green from Austria, brown & black from Belgium, black & gold from France, white & black from Italy, and rose from Spain.
  • The design was greatly influenced by the 1922 Tribune Tower competition design of Eliel Saarinen, pointing to a new direction in skyscraper design with its strong vertical piers culminating in a stepped-back top.
  • The building includes a 3000-seat theate designed with a Mayan-style interior.
  • The upper stories are faced with marble. The steep hipped roof was originally covered with gold leaf, though is now clad with green tile.
  • The Fisher Building was designed as a city within a city, combining commercial, retail, and entertainment facilities under one roof.
  • The wing facing 2nd Avenue was built as a "professional wing" to house physicians, surgeons, and dentists.

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More Information

Location

3011 West Grand Boulevard
48202
Central
New Center
Detroit
Michigan
U.S.A.

Technical Data

488.86 ft
444.47 ft
418.30 ft
339.83 ft
12.00 ft
380.00 ft
323.33 ft
30
1927
1928
20

Involved Companies

consultant, facade installation, facade supplier, general contractor, owner, property management, steel supplier, structural engineering

Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • National landmark
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