Chase Tower

Buildings of Detroit

Building Information

Street Address: 611 Woodward
Year Built:


Like most bank buildings, the currently named Chase Tower has also been known as the The National Bank of Detroit and Bank One Building. The building occupies to former site of the oddly shaped ten-story Hammond Building, which was the first skyscraper in Detroit to employ a steel structural system.

1 Comment

  1. Bob

    The reason the Hammond Building, as well as the Majestic building, being ‘oddly shaped’ is because the original master plan / Woodward Plan had Campus Martius as a pure rectangle angled across Woodward. When the city began to develop in the 1960s, the Planning Commission chose to compromise this plan in favor of giving commercial developers the rectangle of land they wanted (in the case of the National Bank of Detroit headquarters) and the only somewhat angular (due to Michigan Avenue) First Federal building at the NW corner of Michigan and Woodward where the Majestic stood before. For NBD, the Bagley Memorial fountain was moved to the other side of Woodward so NBD could have their rectangular parcel to build on. Now that Campus Martius has been ‘rediscovered’ (despite it existing as a downtown place since the 1800s) this original shape and plan seems to be all but forgotten.

    As for the NBD building itself, it should be noted that it was the first building in downtown to feature heated sidewalks, something people went out of their way to see when snow was falling. The heated walks were removed a few decades later due to cost to operate and sidewalk deterioration. NBD also was very proud of their Money Museum on the second floor, just a friendly escalator ride up from the banking floor, free for all to see. The collection was broken up as part of the banking consolidations, and high security added that barred all except for the remaining banking area on the first floor. The main entrance feature of the museum, a 3-4 foot stone circle coin from the Isle of Yap is now part of the money museum collection of a bank in downtown Ottawa.


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