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Industry Architecture
Founded 1853
Founder Sheldon Smith
Services Architecture, Building Systems Consulting, Campus Planning, Engineering, Historic Preservation, Interior Architecture, Lab Planning, Landscape Architecture, Lighting Design, Master Planning, Programming, Urban Planning and Design

SmithGroupJJR is an American architectural, engineering and planning firm. Established in Detroit in 1853 by architect Sheldon Smith, along with Luckett and Farley, SmithGroupJJR is the longest continually operating architecture and engineering firm in the United States that is not a wholly owned subsidiary.[1] The firm's name was changed to Field, Hinchman & Smith in 1903, and it was renamed Smith, Hinchman & Grylls in 1907.[2] In 2000, the firm changed its name to SmithGroup. In 2011, the firm incorporated its sister firm, JJR, into its current name. As of 2016, it ranks among the top 15 Architecture firms according to Architect Magazine, the official magazine of AIA[3] and also ranked in the 6th Largest Healthcare architecture firm in the U.S.[4] The firm is composed of client industry-focused practices serving Campus, Cultural, Healthcare, Higher Education, Science & Technology, Urban Design, Waterfront and Workplace markets. The firm has offices in eleven cities: Ann Arbor, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Madison, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Washington, D.C.

The firm expanded outside North America by opening an office in Shanghai, China, in December 2013.[5]

Notable architects from the firm include Minoru Yamasaki, Wirt C. Rowland, and C. Howard Crane.

Notable projects[edit]

Edward H. McNamara Terminal Detroit Metropolitan Airport
Guardian Building, Detroit, Michigan
The Brock Environmental Center
Project Location Completion


Architects Note

Central United Methodist Church


Detroit Opera House

Ford Piquette Avenue Plant 1904

Dodge Main Factory


Central Power Plant,

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 1914

Fyfe Building

1919 Amedeo Leone

Hilberry Theatre

1917 Field, Hinchman and Smith originally the First Church of Christ Scientist

Yost Ice Arena,

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 1923 T. J. Hinchman[6] formerly, Yost Field House
J. L. Hudson Department Store and Addition Detroit, Michigan 1946 Demolished in 1998[7]
Bankers Trust Building 1925 Wirt C. Rowland
The Players Clubhouse 1925 William E. Kapp
Buhl Building Detroit, Michigan 1925 Wirt C. Rowland
Mistersky Power Plant 1925 Amedeo Leone[8]
Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church Indian Village, Detroit 1926 Wirt C. Rowland
Meadow Brook Hall Rochester, Michigan 1926 William E. Kapp
Parke-Davis Administration Building 1926 Amedeo Leone[8]
Michigan Bell (now AT&T)

Detroit-Columbia Central Office Building

1927 Wirt C. Rowland
Kelvinator Administration Building Detroit, Michigan 1927 Amedeo Leone[8] known as Plymouth Road Office Complex (PROC)
League of Catholic Women Building 1927
Country Club of Detroit Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan Amedeo Leone[8]
School and convent buildings,

Saint Paul Catholic Church

Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan
Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts 1928 William E. Kapp
Intramural Sports Building,

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 1928 Theodore J. Hinchman[6]
Penobscot Building Detroit, Michigan 1928 Wirt C. Rowland
Guardian Building Detroit, Michigan 1929 Wirt C. Rowland Current home of SmithGroupJJR's Detroit office
Denby High School 1930 Wirt C. Rowland
Pershing High School 1930 Wirt C. Rowland
Detroit Public Library 1932
Rackham School of Graduate Studies,

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 1938
Pease Auditorium,

Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, Michigan 1941
GM Tech Center Warren, Michigan 1955 [Architect of Record]
1001 Woodward Detroit, Michigan 1965 the former First Federal Building
Whiting Auditorium Flint, Michigan [9] 1967
National Institutes of Health Research Laboratories Bethesda, Maryland 1968
Kmart Corporation International Headquarters Troy, Michigan 1969
Harper Hospital in the Detroit Medical Center 1970
Hart Plaza Detroit, Michigan 1978 including the Dodge Fountain designed by Isamu Noguchi
Joe Louis Arena Detroit, Michigan 1979 former home of the NHL Detroit Red Wings
IBM Corporation Manufacturing and Engineering Complex Tucson, Arizona 1979
Defense Intelligence Agency Headquarters Washington, DC 1984
Eli Lilly and Company Biomedical Research Center Indianapolis, Indiana 1984
Chrysler World Headquarters Auburn Hills, Michigan 1996
Comerica Park Detroit, Michigan 2000 home of the MLB Detroit Tigers
Phelps Dodge Corporate Headquarters Phoenix, Arizona 2001
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Headquarters Annapolis, Maryland 2001 the first building in the United States to earn a LEED Platinum certification
Edward H. McNamara Terminal Detroit Metropolitan Airport Romulus, Michigan 2002
University of California, San Francisco Mission Bay Genentech Hall San Francisco, California 2002
Ford Field Detroit, Michigan 2002 home of the NFL Detroit Lions
Consumers Energy, Corporate Headquarters Jackson, Michigan 2003
Discovery Communications World Headquarters Silver Spring, Maryland 2003
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Detroit Branch Detroit, Michigan 2004
Visteon Village, Corporate Headquarters Detroit, Michigan 2004
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Molecular Foundry Berkeley, California 2006
National Academies Building Washington, DC
Chandler City Hall Chandler, Arizona 2010
GateWay Community College, Integrated Education Building Phoenix, Arizona 2012
Brock Environmental Center Virginia Beach, Virginia 2014
University of Illinois, Electrical and Computer Engineering Building Urbana, Illinois 2014
University of Pennsylvania, Stephen A. Levin Building Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2016
Museum of the Bible Washington, DC 2017


  1. ^ Cramer, James P. (2005). Almanac of Architecture and Design. Atlanta, GA: Greenway Communications. p. 348. ISBN 0-9675477-9-2. 
  2. ^ Lebovich, William (August 6, 2003). "150 Years of SmithGroup". ArchitectureWeek. Archived from the original on December 22, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2017. 
  3. ^ "The 2016 Architect 50". Architect. Retrieved 2017-06-24. 
  4. ^ "Building Design and Construction July 2016". Retrieved 2017-06-24. 
  5. ^ Criswell, Jakita (9 December 2013). "Architectural Firm SmithGroupJJR Launches Office in Shanghai, China". DBusiness Magazine. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Original Smith, Hinchman & Grylls building plan sheets
  7. ^ "Fourteen Years Ago Today, Detroit Imploded The Hudson's Department Store Building". Curbed Detroit. Retrieved 2017-10-21. 
  8. ^ a b c d American Institute of Architects application
  9. ^ "Smith, Hinchman & Grylls". Michigan Modern. Retrieved 11 March 2017. 

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. 
  • 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. 
  • Thomas J Holleman & James P Gallagher (1978). Smith, Hinchman & Grylls: 125 Years of Architecture and Engineering, 1853-1978. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1615-8. 

External links[edit]