Book Tower

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For the tower in Ghent (Belgium) housing the library of Ghent University, see Boekentoren. For the British children's television series, see The Book Tower.
Book Tower
Book Tower 2010.jpg
General information
Type Commercial offices
Location 1265 Washington Boulevard
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates 42°20′00″N 83°03′06″W / 42.3334°N 83.0517°W / 42.3334; -83.0517Coordinates: 42°20′00″N 83°03′06″W / 42.3334°N 83.0517°W / 42.3334; -83.0517
Construction started 1916
Completed 1926
Height
Roof 144.78 m (475.0 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 38
2 below ground
Floor area 118,571 m2 (1,276,290 sq ft)
Design and construction
Architect Louis Kamper
Main contractor Starrett-Dilks Company
Renovating team
Renovating firm Key Investments Group
Book Tower
Architectural style Neo-Classical and
Neo-Renaissance
Governing body Private
Part of Washington Boulevard Historic District (#82002914)
Designated CP July 15, 1982
References
[1][2][3][4]

The Book Tower is a 145 m (476 ft), 38-story skyscraper located at 1265 Washington Boulevard in Downtown Detroit, Michigan, within the Washington Boulevard Historic District. Construction began on the Italian Renaissance-style building in 1916 as an addition to the original Book Building and finished a decade later. Designed in the Academic Classicism style, it is 475 feet (145 m) and 38 stories tall (not including two basement levels), with two mechanical floors at the top encased in the green copper roof, a roofing style shared by the nearby Westin Book Cadillac Hotel. Retail and gallery floors used to reside on the first and second floors, with businesses previously occupying the rest. The building is currently unoccupied.

History[edit]

Named after the famous Book Brothers of Detroit, it was briefly the tallest building in the city until the completion of the Penobscot Building in 1928. A taller Book Tower of 81 stories was to be built at the opposite end of the Book Building, but the Great Depression cancelled those plans. The building contains a cartouche by the Detroit architectural sculptor Corrado Parducci.

From its opening through the mid-1970s the Book Tower remained a prestigious address on Washington Boulevard. Like many structures in the city, its fortunes declined until 1988 when the owners defaulted on the mortgage. In 1989, Travelers Insurance, the principal mortgage-holder, took possession and sold the building to developer John Lambrecht who previously purchased and renovated the Cadillac Tower a few blocks east. Lambrecht had similar plans for the Book Building and Tower, however his untimely death later that year brought things to a halt.[5]

Lambrecht's widow attempted to manage the property and made some improvements, but she was unable to maintain momentum. On July 25, 2006, she sold the Book Tower to the Pagan Organization, a New York-based investment group. Pagan's early plans call for a renovation and conversion of both the Book Tower and Book building into a mix of retail, residential, and office units. The Pagan Organization created the Northeast Commercial Services Corp. to manage the building. Northeast Commercial Services Corp. filed for Chapter 11 protection Wednesday, May 24, 2007, after defaulting on its mortgage loan. The last tenant, Bookie's Tavern, closed its doors January 5, 2009, and moved to a new location downtown.[6]

In November 2009, Key Investment Group of Clinton Township, Michigan announced intentions to buy and renovate the building as a mixed use development with high rise residential units, office space, and retail. Weeks earlier, the investors revealed that they were looking to purchase the building from AKNO Enterprises of Vancouver for a green renovation.[7] In January 2010, Rosemarie Dobek, CFO of Key Investment Group, reported that the group is pursuing plans for a US$320 million green renovation to include the Book Tower and four other Detroit buildings.[8][9]

In August 2013, Book Tower owner ANKO Enterprises of Vancouver, British Columbia, filed a tax abatement for a future renovation of the building; however, specific plans have not yet been disclosed.[10]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Book Tower at CTBUH Skyscraper Database
  2. ^ Book Tower at Emporis
  3. ^ Book Tower at SkyscraperPage
  4. ^ Book Tower at Structurae
  5. ^ "Book Tower and Book Building". Buildings of Detroit. Retrieved 2011-04-12. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Book Building". Detroit1701/org. 17 January 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  7. ^ Duggan, Daniel (6 November 2009). "New Book for an old chapter". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  8. ^ Kavanaugh, Kelli B. (3 November 2009). "Book Building and Tower to be brought back to life". Model D. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  9. ^ "New Hope for the Book Tower". Critical Detroit. 20 January 2010. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  10. ^ Cox, Sarah (August 5, 2013). "Evidence Suggests That Book Tower Might, Finally, Renovate". Curbed Detroit. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Hill, Eric J. and John Gallagher (2002). AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3120-3. 
  • Kvaran, Einar Einarsson, Architectural Sculpture of America, unpublished manuscript
  • Meyer, Katherine Mattingly and Martin C.P. McElroy with Introduction by W. Hawkins Ferry, Hon A.I.A. (1980). Detroit Architecture A.I.A. Guide Revised Edition. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1651-4. 
  • Sharoff, Robert (2005). American City: Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3270-6. 
  • Savage, Rebecca Binno and Greg Kowalski (2004). Art Deco in Detroit (Images of America). Arcadia. ISBN 0-7385-3228-2. 

External links[edit]