Experiences In The D | The Blog for Visit Detroit
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When You Visit Detroit, Visit the Fisher Building
Detroit’s Fisher Building in the heart of New Center is one of the city’s most remarkable architectural landmarks. The ornate skyscraper stands today as both a vivid reminder of Detroit’s history and a symbol of the city’s bright future. Visitors to Detroit should make a point of adding the Fisher Building to their itinerary of tourist destinations — you’ll be floored.
Style and Design
The Art Deco style Fisher Building, designed by Albert Kahn and Associates with Joseph Nathaniel French as chief architect, stands 30 stories tall. The marble, barrel-vaulted arcade includes 40 varieties of marble from Europe and the United States, decorated by Hungarian artist Géza Maróti. The Fisher Building is home to 430 tons of bronze, including 2,000 window frames and 256 cast or etched elevator doors, and boasts exterior sculptures by the likes of Maróti, Corrado Parducci, Anthony De Lorenzo and Ulysses Ricci.
Fisher Building History
Constructed in 1928, the Fisher Building was financed by the Fisher Brothers using money made by the sale of Fisher Body Company, an automobile coach builder, to General Motors. The initial plans called for a three-building complex with two 30-story structures and a 60-story center tower. Due to the Great Depression, only one 30-story tower was completed. The Fisher Building’s “Golden Tower” was originally covered in gold-gilded tiles, which were removed during World War II and replaced by green terra cotta tiles. In 1974, the Fisher Building and adjoining New Center Building were purchased by Tri-Star Development, and in 1989 the building was designated a National Historic Landmark.
Fisher Building Current Use
The Fisher Building is home to 500,000 square feet of office space, 99,000 square feet of retail space and the Fisher Theatre. The renovated approximately 2,000 seat theater is one of Detroit’s oldest live theater venues, and is home to conferences and travelling Broadway shows, among other uses.
Further Reading on the Fisher Building
Midwest Guest: "Detroit’s largest art object recalls Art Deco’s gilded glory"
Detroit News: "The Most Beautiful Building in the World"
Historic Detroit: "Fisher Building"
Seeking Michigan: "The Building with a Golden Tower"
Have you toured the Fisher Building? What’s your favorite piece of Detroit architecture?
Photos courtesy New Center Council