Joe Louis Arena Demolition
JOE LOUIS ARENA DEMOLITION »

FUN THINGS TO DO IN DETROIT »



Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 39
  1. #1

    Default Which other US cities resemble Downtown Detroit's architecture?

    NYC?
    Chicago?
    Cinci?

    I suppose a major factor is the architects (Kahn or whoever) who worked in other US cities at the same time as they were active in The D.

    I mean, how can you not love the Book Tower, the Fisher Bldg, the MCS train station, etc...

  2. #2

    Default

    I would say that significant periods of growth define the style of architecture even more so than the individual architect. Most Midwest and east coast cities share the same periods of growth.

    That being said, Iíve been told downtown Detroit is a lot like downtown St. Louis, though Iíve never been there myself to verify that.

  3. #3

    Default

    Cincinnati has a lot of great architecture, true... but (like Baltimore and Philadelphia) it lost all of its downtown movie palaces.

  4. #4

    Default

    Chicago and New York are the two leading rivals when it comes to architectural significant buildings designed in the era from about 1906 to 1929. I think that Philly and Boston have fewer such structures.

  5. #5

    Default

    A tour guide at the Guardian Building had said that while New York and Chicago focused on building taller buildings Detroit had limited it's height for high rises and put money on the architecture itself which made Detroit architecture sought after by photographers from around the world. It just that Detroiters, including some of those in power, don't realize the gem that we have in Detroit. Didnt the elected officials wanted John King Bookstore to remove it's banner from the building that stated it being the number 2 most beautiful book store in the world

  6. #6

    Default

    Tulsa is a place that has pretty underrated Art Deco architecture.

  7. #7

  8. #8

    Default

    Yes, Tulsa has a lot of Art Deco, as does Kansas City MO, Los Angeles and Miami Beach... but all on a less grand scale than Detroit.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NSortzi View Post
    I would say that significant periods of growth define the style of architecture even more so than the individual architect. Most Midwest and east coast cities share the same periods of growth.
    Yes, true. And I think Detroit's architectural heritage is slightly older than many rust-belt peers. MCS is not like anything I've seen elsewhere (rust-belt). Most peers got newer, more modern stations (see Cinci).

    Quote Originally Posted by NSortzi View Post
    That being said, I’ve been told downtown Detroit is a lot like downtown St. Louis, though I’ve never been there myself to verify that.
    Been too long since I've spent time in downtown St. Louis (probably now 20 years). But I would agree the feeling was similar. A lot of pretty large 1920s office buildings. And the 'uptown' area with their Fox (a twin to ours), a high-rise Masonic Temple (if I recall right) and few other large hotels is rather like our New Center (kinda).

    St. Louis shares a lot of architecture, an industrial history, Germanic heritage, low-density sprawl, and the same rust-belt disinvestments we enjoy. Just ignore giant checkerboard farm themes, and the heavier train presence. Oh, and that artificial, but stunning, National Park that displaced most (but not all) of their glorious waterfront that the Woodbridge Tavern would have found familiar.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gistok View Post
    Yes, Tulsa has a lot of Art Deco, as does Kansas City MO, Los Angeles and Miami Beach... but all on a less grand scale than Detroit.
    Well of course, they were all much smaller and less prosperous cities when the Art Deco trend was under way.

  11. #11

    Default

    One thing that Detroit has or had that other cities don't have is are communities of single dwellings or houses that were built from the late 1800s to the early 1900s that have a wealth of unique architectural style to them. Corktown has unique ranch homes while Woodbridge area has unique brick homes. I think of the Gratiot area from McCellan to VanDyke that are still lined with Victorian Colonial homes that were built around 1910 that have bay windows in the master bedrooms as well as the livingrooms, window benches in the dining rooms etc. The biggest mistake that were done in downtown Detroit in the late 80s early 90s was the razing of the buildings along Monroe street as well as the razing of the homes in Brush Park to make way for greedy developers who didnt build on the land that were cleared

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 313WX View Post
    Well of course, they were all much smaller and less prosperous cities when the Art Deco trend was under way.
    Both Detroit and LA didn't hit the million mark until the 1930 census, Miami had undergone the destructive 1926 hurricane that required a total rebuilding, and interestingly enough Kansas City's train station has about twice the square footage of Detroit's. But yes most cities in the USA were smaller than Detroit back then.

  13. #13

    Default

    Detroit was the welthiest city per-capita in the country at the time (outside of NYC).

    Art Deco was seen as a status symbol for those with money in that era, so most cities won't compare to Detroit in terms of scale.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    320

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stasu1213 View Post
    A tour guide at the Guardian Building had said that while New York and Chicago focused on building taller buildings Detroit had limited it's height for high rises and put money on the architecture itself which made Detroit architecture sought after by photographers from around the world. It just that Detroiters, including some of those in power, don't realize the gem that we have in Detroit. Didnt the elected officials wanted John King Bookstore to remove it's banner from the building that stated it being the number 2 most beautiful book store in the world
    Chicago didn't build that tall in the 20's. all their pre-war skyscrapers are the same height as Detroit's. Also I never heard of the city having any kind of height limit. there were planned skyscrapers in the city before the great depression that were going to be the tallest in the world. I think your tour guide didn't really know what they were talking about lol.
    Last edited by Worldsgreatest; March-31-19 at 06:02 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    5,067

    Default

    Cleveland is the closest, IMO, with the Terminal Tower complex and Euclid serving as their Woodward. But Detroit has a more impressive overall collection of prewar towers.

  16. #16

    Default

    Chicago, Cleveland, and downtown Los Angeles.

  17. #17

    Default

    Having lived in Detroit, Chicago, NYC, and LA, I would go with Los Angeles, especially 5 or 10 years ago. NYC and Chicago are so built up now that the art deco look has sort of been overcome. In LA it still is somewhat prominent, but less so each year that passes now that DTLA is going crazy with development. I have heard St. Louis, but don't know the city at all. As for a city that least resembles Detroit, I would go with Dallas.

  18. #18

    Default

    The Philcade building's interior in Tulsa looks a lot like the Fisher Building's interior. See it on Pinterest.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    Cleveland is the closest, IMO, with the Terminal Tower complex and Euclid serving as their Woodward. But Detroit has a more impressive overall collection of prewar towers.
    The prewar tower statistic baffles me when you think of major cities around the country today. Did we really have that many buildings (are they gone now?) and we’re the other cities really that small back then. Not doubting it just want it explained. When I look at the skyline of Chicago and NYC it’s crazy to think we ever had them beat. Is there a list of our prewar towers?

  20. #20

    Default

    Pittsburgh reminds me of a mini-Detroit. Same boom phase, probably driven directly from Detroit, in steel for autos and buildings. Just about the same mix of pre-war, post-war and modernist towers.

  21. #21

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by One Shot View Post
    The prewar tower statistic baffles me when you think of major cities around the country today. Did we really have that many buildings (are they gone now?) and weíre the other cities really that small back then. Not doubting it just want it explained. When I look at the skyline of Chicago and NYC itís crazy to think we ever had them beat. Is there a list of our prewar towers?
    Detroit was likely the 3rd or 4th largest skyline until the 1970s. Los Angeles's skyline has never really been that impressive. Philadelphia probably had a skyline comparable to Detroit pre-1970, as both cities were very close to each other in population and density in the mid-20th century.

    Detroit never had Chicago or NYC beat, but it was far closer to Chicago before 1970 than it is today.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    5,067

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by One Shot View Post
    TWhen I look at the skyline of Chicago and NYC it’s crazy to think we ever had them beat. Is there a list of our prewar towers?
    Detroit never "had them beat". NYC had probably 10x as many prewar mid/highrises as any other city on earth. Have you ever been to the Upper West Side? It's almost entirely midrise prewars of some distinction.

    Chicago also had many more prewars than Detroit. It was a much bigger city with more developed core than Detroit. It never developed NYC-type prewar areas like the Upper West Side, Garment District and Washington Heights, though.

    Detroit was probably #3 back around 1930. Philly and Cleveland were up there too. But NYC today probably has more notable prewars than the next 10 cities combined.
    Last edited by Bham1982; April-02-19 at 07:45 AM.

  23. #23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
    Detroit was likely the 3rd or 4th largest skyline...

    Detroit never had Chicago or NYC beat, but it was far closer to Chicago before 1970 than it is today.
    As far as size and # of buildings? No. But for pure aesthetic appeal? I'll take Detroit.

  24. #24

    Default

    It was never an actual ordinance, but Philly did have a gentlemen's agreement that no building would be taller than the top of William Penn's hat on top of City Hall (548 feet, IIRC - well whaddaya know, I just checked and my memory didn't fail me.), so Philly missed out on having really tall buildings until the 80s, when the agreement was left in shreds. These days, you can barely see City Hall through all of the new towers that have been built, whereas when I was growing up in the area City Hall dominated the skyline. Having said that, Center City Philadelphia probably covers more acreage than does downtown Detroit, likely because the height limit forced it to spread out. Also, Philly's era of rapid growth was in the 1800s, so not many art deco buildings were built there.

    I've always said that Detroit missed out because our three largest companies all were headquartered outside of downtown (New Center, Dearborn, and Highland Park). I know U.S. Steel's headquarters always was in downtown Pittsburgh, and AFAIK Gulf Oil and Alcoa also were headquartered there, so I'd say Pittsburgh has a more impressive skyline compared with the population of the city or the metro.

    In sum, Detroit ain't Chicago or NYC and never has been, but that's okay. In absolute terms it has a pretty nice skyline, although it could have been so much better had the auto companies located their headquarters downtown.

  25. #25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by night-timer View Post
    NYC?
    Chicago?
    Cinci?

    I suppose a major factor is the architects (Kahn or whoever) who worked in other US cities at the same time as they were active in The D.

    I mean, how can you not love the Book Tower, the Fisher Bldg, the MCS train station, etc...
    Living in Chicago for 10 years now, I can say for certain in my opinion that Detroitís historic skyscrapers are way more New York looking. Their narrow massing and stepped profiles lend to that. Chicago has boxier buildings and was keeping things around 20-30 stories in the loop. I think Chicagoís archiectural beauty comes from its collective composition. But Detroit has uniquely detailed buildings that stand magnificent on their own like the guardian, fisher, and stott

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Instagram
BEST ONLINE FORUM FOR
DETROIT-BASED DISCUSSION
DetroitYES Awarded BEST OF DETROIT 2015 - Detroit MetroTimes - Best Online Forum for Detroit-based Discussion 2015

ENJOY DETROITYES?


AND HAVE ADS REMOVED DETAILS »





Welcome to DetroitYES! Kindly Consider Turning Off Your Ad BlockingX
DetroitYES! is a free service that relies on revenue from ad display [regrettably] and donations. We notice that you are using an ad-blocking program that prevents us from earning revenue during your visit.
Ads are REMOVED for Members who donate to DetroitYES! [You must be logged in for ads to disappear]
DONATE HERE »
And have Ads removed.