Monday, November 23, 2009

Building trivia: A bit about Detroit’s One Woodward Avenue

Some buildings downtown are widely recognized (like the Renaissance Center). Some are known for their ornate architecture (the Guardian Building, for example). And others are embraced because they’ve been abandoned and left to rot (sadly, take your pick, but I’ll say the Michigan Central Depot). 

Of all of the buildings in Detroit, One Woodward Avenue isn’t the “most-anything”. But the 29-story high-rise across from Hart Plaza does stand out among its neighboring towers for at least one interesting piece of trivia.

Architect Minoru Yamasaki designed the building – located at the corner of Woodward and Jefferson –  and in the process, formulated a design that he would later use when creating the World Trade Center in New York. Take a look at the photo; you can definitely see the similarities. (A picture taken at Hart Plaza and posted on the Kage a few weeks ago shows One Woodward Avenue in the background. See it here.) I’m told that since the Trade Center was destroyed, One Woodward Avenue is Yamasaki’s tallest building still standing, although I can’t confirm that.

Incidentally, in the photo included with this page, see the building that One Woodward is connected with via a skywalk? That’s the Guardian Building I mentioned. (More on that some other day – that place is really cool!)