World ford liquidating
In a city with an embarrassment of architectural riches, sometimes a jewel can get overlooked or taken for granted. Detroit’s second-oldest skyscraper was designed by a renowned American master, once held the title of tallest building in the city, helped save downtown’s central business district and is a lovingly restored link to an era before the Motor City was the Motor City.
The 18-story Ford Building opened on the northwestern corner of Griswold and Congress streets in 1908.
It took more than 4,000 tons of steel and almost 10 million pounds of cement to build Burnham’s latest marvel. “Placed end to end, they would form a footpath 384 miles long, reaching from Detroit far into the distant outskirts of Chicago suburbs,” the Free Press wrote in 1908.A March 22, 1908, article in the Free Press touted the Ford Building as “Detroit’s greatest achievement in construction work …the highest structure in the city and one of the most complete and elaborate office buildings in the world. To say that Detroiters are proud of this magnificent building, and that it has been more talked about than any other structure ever erected in the city is no exaggeration.” Some tenants had moved in a month earlier, but the building wasn’t quite finished by that March. furnished the canvas awnings for the building, the Melvin Sign Co. Of its 522 offices, the Free Press reported that leases were “being closed so rapidly that the interior decorators will have hardly gotten clear of the structure when it will be filled with tenants.” More than 2,200 people came to work at the building every day, and it was estimated that 15,000 more would visit it daily.Among them was the Hoban Block, a well-known, simple structure once used by the federal government (it even had a cement vault where important papers were held).
The three-story Hoban also was where the Wayne County Savings Bank got its start in September 1871, and it was home to the Congress Lunch Room, which relocated to the Campau Building and became better known as Brennan’s Restaurant. and “a score of men bearing pickaxes, crowbars and shovels” went to work on “the Hoban block and other ancient structures,” the Detroit Tribune wrote on July 15, 1906. the wrecker and his crew have been busy every minute of the 10 long hours which compose each working day.” It took about 10 days of “tearing, prying and pulling from morning until night” to clear the site.
“The Ford building woke people up, set their minds at work and tongues in action” on turning things around.