David Broderick Tower

The David Broderick Tower is a skyscraper in Detroit, Michigan that is under redevelopment with an expected completion date in 2010. Construction began in 1926, and was completed in 1928. The tower was the second tallest building in Michigan when it was completed in 1928. It stands 35-stories tall, with two basement floors. The building is designed with Neo-classical architecture, Chicago school, and Beaux-Arts designs. Limestone is a prominent material in the building's surface. It was designed by architects Louis Kamper and Paul Kamper for Theodore Eaton. The tower is located at the Southeast corner of Woodward Ave and Witherell St., facing Grand Circus Park, in downtown Detroit, and stands across the street from the David Whitney Building, and stands in the " Foxtown" neighbourhood of Detroit. The David Broderick Tower is not a square, but actually a parallelogram in shape. The building became one of the many abandoned structures in Detroit after it closed in the 1980s. On November 7, 2008, a building next to the David Broderick Tower collapsed.

Before the decorative cornices were removed, this building was 371'-6" to the top of the parapet wall, and 376'-7" tall to the very tip of the decorative cornice. This tower is topped by a Beaux Arts/ Neo-classical inspired crown. The tower was originally constructed as the Eaton Tower, named after Theodore Horation Eaton, Jr., an importer and dealer in chemicals and dyes. The building changed ownership and names in 1945, when the tower was purchased by David Broderick, a Detroit insurance broker, which he then renamed after himself. After his purchase of the tower in 1945, David Broderick created the Sky Top Club on the 33rd floor of the tower, which was a private club used for entertaining Mr. Broderick's associates and guests. After David Broderick's death in 1957, the tower changed hands many times between 1963 and 1976, finally ending up in the hands of the Higgins family, which retains a stake in the ownership to this day. A bar called Tavern on the Park was preceded by a restaurant called The Flaming Embers, which also later closed. Another bar called The Pit Stop opened on the ground floor of the building in 2007 but eventually also closed. Currently the Sports Town Grill occupies the street level floor.

The memorable humpback whale mural on the rear facade of the building was painted by Metro-Detroit native eco-artist, Wyland and was dedicated on October 13, 1997. A billboard was placed over the mural in July 2006, covering up the Whaling Wall mural. The money generated from a recently added billboard was announced to benefit the restoration of the building, as the billboard is visible from the nearby Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers.

Recent plans to renovate the tower come from Motown Construction Partners. The project will renovate the existing building into 105-115 rental apartments on floors 5-34, with the lower 4 floors being upgraded for retail, entertainment, and office uses. Project inception is expected in early 2010. Once the planned restoration is complete, the tower will contain retail and entertainment floors 1 through 4 (with a separate mezzanine above floor 1), office space on floors 5 and 6, and residential space on the top floors 7 through 34. Check out: http://www.brodericktower.com/


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Building Activity

  • updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via Annotator
  • updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com