Building InformationStreet Address: 1249 Washington Boulevard
Year Built: 1917
Architect: Louis Kamper
Style: Italian Renaissance
The 38-story Book Tower was part of the Washington Boulevard redevelopment, a project by J. Burgess Book, Jr. and his brothers which transformed a run-down area of Detroit into one of the world’s most fashionable streets. Planned in 1915 by Edward H. Bennett of Chicago according to principles of the City Beautiful movement, this project was realized between 1916 and 1930.
Named after the famous Book Brothers of Detroit, it was briefly the tallest building in the city until the completion of the Penobscot Building in 1928. A taller Book Tower of 81-stories was set to be built at the opposite end of the Book Building, but the Great Depression canceled plans.
After sitting vacant for nearly a year, Key Investment Group announced plans for a “green” renovation of the tower and building in January 2010.