The building was originally constructed as General Motors' first research facility in 1926, and was enlarged in 1936. The company largely vacated the building when they moved from New Center to downtown in 1997, and completely left the building by 1999.
Fire Insurance Maps indicate this building is 140 feet to the main roof, not including the prominent penthouse.
Orton Development of California was to renovate the building for mixed-used starting in the spring of 2006, but due to the economy the plan never came to fruition.
The College for Creative Studies of Detroit announced on June 18, 2008, that they had begun to renovate the building for classroom space and 300 beds of student housing, and will occupy 70 percent of the building. The $145 million renovation is scheduled for completion in fall 2009.
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