The Book Tower expanded upon the original Book Building, completed in 1916.
Faced in limestone, the Book Tower displays an eccentric handling of Academic Classicism.
Floors 1 & 2 are retail/gallery floors. Floors 3-36 are office floors. And floors 37 and 38 (inside the copper roof) are mechanical floors.
Outstanding features include twelve nude caryatid cornice supports and a three story open lobby.
The Book Tower was part of the Washington Boulevard redevelopment, a project by J. Burgess Book, Jr. and his brothers which transformed a run-down area of Detroit into one of the world's most fashionable streets. Planned in 1915 by Edward H. Bennett of Chicago according to principles of the City Beautiful movement, this project was realized between 1916 and 1930.
The building was effectively shuttered when the last tenant, Bookies Downtown Tavern, closed its doors on January 5, 2009. The failure of the owners, AKNO Enterprises of Vancouver, to pay the building's back utility bills led to its closure.