Frederick Stearns Building

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Frederick Stearns Building
Frederick Stearns Building Detroit MI.jpg
Location 6533 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates 42°20′45″N 83°0′24″W / 42.34583°N 83.00667°W / 42.34583; -83.00667Coordinates: 42°20′45″N 83°0′24″W / 42.34583°N 83.00667°W / 42.34583; -83.00667
Built 1899; ca. 1910 (addition)
Architect William B. Stratton; Albert Kahn
Architectural style Other
NRHP Reference # 80001927[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 14, 1980
Designated MSHS January 8, 1981[2]

The Frederick Stearns Building is a manufacturing plant located at 6533 East Jefferson Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1981.[1][2] It has been converted to condominiums.[3]


Frederick Stearns Building, c. 1910

Frederick Stearns & Company, established in 1855,[4] was a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in 19th century Detroit. In the late 1890s, Frederick K. Stearns (son of the firm's founder, Frederick A. Stearns) commissioned William B. Stratton to design this building[3] (Stratton also designed Stearns's personal home, the Frederick K. Stearns House, a few years later).[2] Construction was completed in 1899 at a cost of $85,000.[4] It originally contained Stearns's production facilities, as well as warehouses and white-collar offices.[3]

The building was converted into condominiums in 1989,[3] and is now known as the Lofts at Rivertown.[5]


The building was originally three stories in height; a fourth floor was added later. The original building, with its upper story addition, is constructed from brick.[3] The façade is symmetric, with projecting pavilions at each end and another in the center;[3] this front section, which housed the company offices, is 13 bays wide and five bays deep.[5] The center paviolion contains an arched stone entryway and a clock on the third floor. Each window in the Jefferson façade is trimmed with limestone.[3] Fourth-floor gables above the end paviolions add to the appeal of the building.[3]

A taller concrete addition, the top of which can be seen from Jefferson,[3] was built around 1910.[6] This addition was designed by Albert Kahn.[5]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c Stearns, Frederick K., House from the state of Michigan
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Frederick Stearns & Company Building from
  4. ^ a b The Lofts at Rivertown history page
  5. ^ a b c Fredrick Stearns & Company Building from the city of Detroit
  6. ^ 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.  P. 244.

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