Two extremely iconic buildings in Detroit are potentially a step closer to joining the recently publicized list of vacant Detroit buildings. The Guardian Building and the Penobscot Building are both located in the heart of the central business district and would emotionally devastate the Detroit (or at least me) if they become vacant.
Both towers were designed by Wirt Rowland while at Smith, Hinchman, and Grylls and are magnificent examples of Pre-Depression architecture in Detroit.
The Guardian Building was completed in 1929 for the Union Trust Bank and features some unconventional blending of Native American, Aztec, Art Deco, and Arts & Crafts design influences. The 37 story building is designated a National Historic Building and a National Historic Landmark. Wayne County bought the Guardian in 2007 and is currently renovating several floors in the historic structure. The effort is currently over budget and the commission is set to vote on Thursday to increase the bond amount.
The Penobscot Building featuring simple, clean Art Deco massing and Native American exterior details was completed in 1928. It was the tallest building in Detroit, at 47 stories tall, until 1977 when the Renaissance Center was built. The current owners of the building are in a dispute with the lender over defaulted bank loans and face possible foreclosure.
Both buildings are definitely worth seeing in person.