Metropolitan Building (Detroit)
|Architectural style||Gothic Revival|
|Location||33 John R Street
|Antenna spire||182 ft 10 in (55.7 m)|
|Roof||173 ft 8 in (52.9 m)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Weston and Ellington|
The building was built in 1924 and finished in 1925. It stands at 15 stories and was once occupied by shops, offices, and the facilities of jewelry manufacturers and wholesalers leading it to also be known as the "Jeweler's Building". The manufacture of luminous watch dials in the building left behind several toxic substances that have thwarted redevelopment plans. Architects Weston and Ellington designed it in a Neo-Gothic style. The exterior of the building is faced with brick, granite, and terra cotta.
The Metropolitan Building closed in 1977 and current plans call for development into lofts. In March 2010, the Downtown Development Authority voted to install safety scaffolding and netting on the building to prevent parts of the facade from falling.
In September 2013, the city requested bids for removal of asbestos and other hazardous materials from the building to determine if it should be demolished or restored. The property was offered to Rock Ventures, owned by developer Dan Gilbert, however the company declined to take ownership of the structure. Earlier, Bruce Schwartz of Bedrock Real Estate Services, one of Rock Ventures subsidiaries, said that part of the building could be demolished to construct a public space, lofts and offices. However, he later said the company would be open to restoring the structure.
In March 2015, the Downtown Development Authority approved a $23.2 million renovation plan to create 71 apartments along with commercial and retail space on the bottom two floors. The project is expected to take one year to complete.
- Joe Swickard (16 July 2011). "Neighbor cheers judge's repair order of crumbling Wurlitzer skyscraper". Detroit Free Press (freep.com). Retrieved 2011-07-16.
- Hill, Eric J., and Gallagher, John (2002). AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture, p. 52. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3120-3.
- Aguilar, Louis (17 September 2013). "City weighs whether to restore or demolish Metropolitan Building". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
- Rushe, Dominic (15 April 2013). "Detroit's precarious recovery: 'It just feels like something is happening here'". The Guardian (Manchester). Retrieved 2013-09-18.
- Gallagher, John (26 March 2015). "Historic building, Hudson's site get apartments". The Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
- 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.
- Inside the Metropolitan Building at Detroiturbex.com.
- Metropolitan Building details at Emporis.com
- SkyscraperPage.com's Profile on the Metropolitan Building
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