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Book Tower

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Book Tower
Book Tower & Building


Structure in General

existing [under renovation]
applied masonry
light gray
beaux-arts / historism


rental apartments hotel
commercial office shop(s)


  • 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.
  • Tallest building in Detroit from 1926 - 1928; surpassed by the Penobscot Building.
  • The Book Building is 174 feet to the main roof slab, not including the highest penthouse.
  • The complex was purchased by Bedrock Real Estate Services in 2015, which began a renovation of the building scheduled for completiton in 2022.
  • The renovation will convert the building into 25,000 square feet of retail space, 40,000-50,000 square feet of office space, about 120 high end hotel rooms and 200-220 residential units.

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More Information


1227-1265 Washington Boulevard
301-319 Grand River Avenue
1265 Washington Boulevard

Technical Data

475.01 ft
475.01 ft
2016 - 2022

Involved Companies

Louis Kamper

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Features & Amenities

  • Atrium is present
  • Fire escape attached to facade
  • Skybridge link to next building
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