Argonaut Building

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For the General Motors institution, see General Motors Research Laboratories.
General Motors Research Laboratory
The Argonaut Building, taken from the West
Location 485 West Milwaukee Avenue
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates 42°22′5″N 83°4′30″W / 42.36806°N 83.07500°W / 42.36806; -83.07500Coordinates: 42°22′5″N 83°4′30″W / 42.36806°N 83.07500°W / 42.36806; -83.07500
Built 1928
Architect Albert Kahn
Architectural style Early Commercial
NRHP Reference # 05000713[1]
Added to NRHP July 22, 2005

The Argonaut Building, renamed in 2009 the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education (originally the Argonaut, or General Motors Research Laboratory), is a large office building located at 485 West Milwaukee Avenue in the New Center area of Detroit, Michigan, across the street from Cadillac Place. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.[1]


The building was constructed in two phases between 1928 and 1930.[2] The high-rise stands at 12 floors, with 11 above-ground and one basement level. The height to the main roof is 42.7 meters (140 feet), and 56.3 metres (180 feet) to the top of the elevator tower. The 275-unit structure is an Art Deco building, and uses primarily brick and limestone in its materials.

History and renovations[edit]

This building, designed by Albert Kahn, was a former laboratory building for General Motors,[3] which operated from Cadillac Place across West Milwaukee Street. In 2007, General Motors donated it to the College for Creative Studies.[4] It is in use as both a charter high school for art-centric children, as well as CCS's planned graduate program. On top of these uses, CCS moved all of their Design based Undergraduate programs[5] to this location, providing the space for a larger student body, and subsequently larger program. In addition, the building houses approximately 300 in student housing. It is also a school; Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies, having the sixth through twelfth grade. The $145 million renovation was completed in fall 2009. In 2012, Shinola renovated the fifth floor and turned it into their corporate office as well as a watch factory and bicycle workshop.[6]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Fogelman, p.32.
  3. ^ 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. 176.
  4. ^ Argonaut Building / General Motors Research Laboratory Archived December 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. Detroit1701. Retrieved on November 21, 2013.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Zimberg, Alexis (August 7, 2012). "Imported From Detroit: Shinola Settles Into Taubman Center". Curbed Detroit. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 

External links[edit]