500 Griswold Street
There has been so very, very much written about the Guardian Building of Detroit, that my writing here is simply for me to remember this stunning building and that I had the pleasure of walking into it and staring.
Built for the Union Trust Company the building is 486 feet tall with 40 floors and was the second tallest building in Detroit and the world’s tallest brick building when it opened in 1929.
Designed by Wirt Rowland of Smith, Hichman, and Grylls it came in at a cost of $12million.
The tangerine colored “Guardian Brick” was formulated by Rowland and there were almost 2 million bricks used in its construction, he chose these specifically because they were cheaper than other materials.
Even the tree planters and the flag poles on the exterior of the building celebrate the “notched” design that can be found throughout the building.
Nicknamed “The Cathedral of Finance” the building held the money of one in every four bank depositors in the City of Detroit.
Upon entering the building you will be overwhelmed with the arched ceiling covered in Rookwood tile from the Rookwood Pottery company of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Entry to the Banking Hall is through an elaborate grill of Monel metal. Monel is a mixture of copper, nickel, and aluminum. Above the entryway is the original Tiffany clock.
The Banking Hall is dominated by a mural by Ezra Winter representing Michigan and her industries.
The attention to detail in every square inch of this building truly does make it one of the greatest in Detroit. The building is open to the public on the ground floor with retail in the Banking Hall. Tours are given of the building on weekends by Pure Detroit.