The Fisher Building, located in Detroit’s New Center district and is known as “Detroit’s largest art object”. Right when I walked in the door, it became obvious how it received that title. This Albert Kahn (the architect who did the Guardian Building and the Belle Isle Aquarium and who is known as
The Architect of Detroit”) designed marvel is full of marble from all over the world, high, painted ceilings, and accented with brass and bronze. It features 1,800 bronze window and 641 bronze elevator doors. The ceilings in the arcade feature frescoes that were hand painted and at the time cost $20,000 (which would be about $265,000 in today’s money)! The exterior of this masterpiece is made up of over 325,000 square feet of marble and is the largest marble structure in the world! Somehow, it took only 15 months to complete and the building opened its doors to Detroit in 1928.
In later decades when Detroiters moved to the suburbs, the Fisher building was able to keep tenants because of its dedicated 1,100 spot parking garage, the first of its kind! Over the years, the building has changed hands several times because it is not cheap to run. In 1970, The Detroit Free Press wrote that the Fisher and the neighboring New Center Building cost $3.1 million a year to operate (Historic Detroit)! The building was most recently purchased along with the nearby Albert Kahn Building (previously known as the New Center Building) in 2015 for $12.2 million (Detroit Free Press). The new owner is reportedly putting $100 million into restoring these gems to their former glory! About the Fisher Building, Developer Peter Cummings said “It is more than just a beautiful building or a landmark; it is a beacon in the heart of Detroit for all of Detroit. It is the beacon of our city, both of its past and its future,” (Crain’s Detroit)
If you are in Detroit, and I advise that everyone should be at some point, definitely make a visit to the Fisher Building. On weekends, the Pure Detroit store in the lobby runs free, historical tours that are definitely worth the time!
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