David Whitney Building

The David Whitney Building is a historic class-A skyscraper on the northern edge of downtown Detroit, Michigan. It is located at 1553 Woodward Avenue, adjacent to Grand Circus Park. The building stands at the corner of Park Avenue, Woodward Avenue, and Washington Boulevard. Construction on the 19-floor structure began in 1914. It is currently unused and awaiting redevelopment. It is named for David Whitney Jr., a wealthy Detroiter who earned millions of dollars as a white pine baron; his father has been called the employer of Paul Bunyan. Famed Chicago- architect Daniel Burnham designed the Whitney. Appropriately for Detroit, it was originally styled with clean lines and Italian Renaissance/ Neo-Renaissance elements, built with terra cotta materials. The original facade was altered in 1959. Decorative cornices were replaced with a 'modern' top. The first four stories of this building contain a large retail atrium. It was one of Detroit's first major mixed-use projects. The Detroit People Mover's Grand Circus Park station is located at the first and second floors of this building. It stands across the street from the David Broderick Tower. The building is visible from the Detroit People Mover, as well as Comerica Park. Together with the adjacent David Broderick Building, it forms a "gateway" of sorts to downtown Detroit when viewed from the north. The Metro Times , an early alternative weekly, once published from offices in the highrise. The first 19 floors are office floors, and there are two mechanical elevator floors recessed to the back of the building. It is currently awaiting re-development.


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