Fisher Building

Fisher Building
  1. About the Fisher Building in Detroit
    1. Building Catalogations
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectural style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The Fisher Building is an Art-deco skyscraper designed by Albert Kahn Associates and built between 1927 and 1928 in Detroit, MI.

Its precise street address is 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit, MI. You can also find it on the map here.

The Fisher Building is a structure of significant importance both for the city of Detroit and the United States as a nation. The building embodies the distinctive characteristic features of the time in which it was built and the Art Deco style. Because of that, the Fisher Building was officially declared as a national landmark in 1980, and was included in the National Register of Historic Places on June 29th 1989.

At the time of its completion in 1928 the Fisher Building incorporated solutions that were quite advanced at the time, these included an underground passage that connected de Fishre Buiding with the Cadillac Place located across the street .

The building has been restored 2 times over the years to ensure its conservation and adaptation to the pass of time. The main restoration works happened in 2015 and 2023.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
1927
97
Construction completed
1928
96
Declared NL
1980
44
Added to the NRHP
1989
35
a
Restoration
2015
9
b
Restoration
2023
1
years ago
2024
  1. 2015 - Hand-painted frescos were restored. The fire suppression system and elevators were upgraded.
  2. 2023 - The exterior, entrances, mechanical systems, elevators and tenant spaces were renovated.

Architect and team

Albert Kahn Associates was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design. But there was also one other architect involved, as far as we know. We are talking about Joseph Nathaniel.

Albert Kahn Associates and the other architects already mentioned were in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline involving many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but here is a list of the people we do know also played their part in making the Fisher Building a reality:

  • Fisher Family as the Main Developer
  • Géza Maróti, Corrado Parducci, Anthony De Lorenzo and Ulysses Ricci as the collaborating Artist

Architectural Style

The Fisher Building can be categorized as an Art-deco building.

The Art Deco movement flourished during the 1920s and 1930s, with many historians marking the outbreak of World War II as its final decline. Even though a couple of decades might not seem as much, the Art Deco movement had a great impact on architecture, and it's widely represented in many American cities due to the development boom that happened during that time.

Art Deco marked the abandonment of traditional historicism and the embracement of modern living and the age of the machine. In architecture, that meant leaving behind the ornaments of Beux-Arts and Neo-Gothic buildings and instead favoring simplicity and visual impact through geometric shapes, clean lines, and symmetrical designs. Ornaments were still an important part of the design, but they became bold and lavish, and were often inspired by ancient cultures or industrial imagery, instead of nature.

The Fisher Building was completed in 1928, right when the Art Deco movement was at its peak, so it kind of went with the trend at that time.

Spaces & Uses

The Fisher Building reaches an architectural height of 443ft (135m), 489ft (149m) if you count the antenna, with the last accesible floor being 341ft (104m) off the gorund. It has a total of 30 floors, served by 20 elevators.

In regards to parking space, the building has a total of 964 spots available, which roughly equals 32 spots per floor (above ground).

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 1928, the Fisher Building has mainly been used as Commercial space.

489ft (149m)
443ft (135m)
341ft (104m)

Materials & Structure

The Fisher Building uses a frame structure made of steel columns and concrete slabs.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

The facade is non-load bearing either, as it is common in frame structure type buildings.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features Minnesota pink marble and Oriental granite cladding the first three floors, and Beaver Dam marble and Carthage marble on the streets fronts. The marble was cut and positioned in a way that would give varying textures across the exterior.

Other materials found at the Fisher Building include, green tiles, used for the buikding's hipped roof, bronze, seen in windows frames, elevator doors and exterior-interior ornamentation, and marble, found in walls and floors. The types of marble used include: Golden-Vein Tavernelle from Tennesse, Cardiff Green from Maryland, Carthage from Missouri, Verdi antique from Veermont, Mar Villa from Maryland, red marble from Germany, green from Austria, brown & black from Belgium, black & gold from France, white & black from Italy and rose from Spain.

Sources

  • npgallery.nps.gov