The Kean Building

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

The The Kean Building is an Art-deco skyscraper designed by Charles Noble and built between 1930 and 1931 in Detroit, MI.

The Kean Building is not the only name you might know this building by though. The building is, or has also been known as Kean Apartments.

Its precise street address is 8925 East Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, MI. You can also find it on the map here.

The The Kean 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 The Kean Building was officially included in the National Register of Historic Places on July 9th 1985.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
Construction completed
Added to the NRHP
years ago

Architect and team

Charles Noble was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Architectural Style

The The Kean 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 The Kean Building was completed in 1931, right when the Art Deco movement was at its peak, so it kind of went with the trend at that time.

Spaces & Uses

The The Kean Building reaches an architectural height of 180ft (55m). It has a total of 16 floors, served by 2 elevators.

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 1931, the The Kean Building has mainly been used as Residential space.

About the residences

The The Kean Building has a total of 49 residential units throughout its 16 floors.

180ft (55m)

Materials & Structure

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features orange terracotta at the entrance, with a semicircular arch supported by marble Corinthian columns and medallions embedded into the walls. A tiled hipped roof over a red and white checkerboard border with grouped gargoyles tops the building.

Other materials found at the The Kean Building include, wood, cladding the lobby's walls and window frames, marble, seen on the stairsteps and floors, with a special pominence in the rosettes at the lobby's ceiling, and stained glass, used for the first floor windows.