Thursday, October 7, 2010

New angle, same result: the Ren Cen remains the focal point of Detroit's skyline

In case you haven't seen enough of the Ren Cen while watching the first few episodes of 'Detroit 1-8-7', here's a look at it from underneath the People Mover track outside of Cobo Arena. It's a cool looking place, and it always looks different to me depending on the angle from which I catch it. It turns out, though, that the Ren Cen isn't just the most prominent building complex in the Detroit skyline.

At 73 stories tall, the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center (the middle tower) is the tallest all-hotel skyscraper in the western hemisphere as well as the tallest building in Michigan. The entire seven-tower complex, with more than 5.5 million square feet of office space, is one of the largest office complexes in the world.

Somewhat ironically, despite currently being the home of General Motors' World Headquarters, the Ren Cen was originally conceived in part by Henry Ford II, and its construction was primarily financed by Ford Motor Co. When plans were announced in 1971 to build the Renaissance Center for $500 million, it became the largest private development in the world.

In case you haven't caught 'Detroit 1-8-7' yet, the Ren Cen has appeared often in the background, usually during chase scenes as the cops tear through the Rivertown district over near the Atwater Block Brewery. For more 'Ren Cen in the background' photos, tool around this website for awhile. It shows up quite a bit, even if only by accident.