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Lafayette Building
Detroit, MI

 

Lafayette Building in December 2008
Detroit, MI
Photos and info courtesy Richard Weiss

The Lafayette Building in Downtown Detroit was built in 1923 and was once the home to the Michigan Supreme Court and the state's Tax Tribunal. The historic structure was deemed to be a public safety hazard and unanimously voted to be torn down by the Detroit Downtown Development Authority. The 14-story structure designed by architect C. Howard Crane had sat vacant for over a decade prior to this vote.

 

Lafayette Building in October 2009
Photos and info courtesy Richard Weiss

The City of Detroit has now begun demolition of this landmark structure. It's neighbor, the Commerce Building, had been demolished in 2008. Compare the top floors in the picture taken of the Lafayette Building last December (top left) to the one from October 2009 (right).

 

Lafayette demo
Detroit, MI
Photo courtesy Richard Weiss

Soon there will be no large building dominating the background of the Tubby's Submarine Sandwich guy. The building had been empty for years and form the looks of it the interior had been "remuddled" in the 60's or 70's. This may mean another weed choked lot for Detroit is on the way.

Check out the structure with demolition well underway. Who knows what could have been made of this building if preservation and rehabilitation resources had instead been used.

Below are more photos of the Lafayette Building with its familiar V-shape from last December.

Many thanks to Richard Weiss for photos and info. 11-09

 

Lafayette Building in December 2008
Detroit, MI
Photo courtesy Richard Weiss

Lafayette Building in December 2008
Detroit, MI
Photo courtesy Richard Weiss

Lafayette Building in December 2008
Detroit, MI
Photo courtesy Richard Weiss

 

UPDATE 11/09 : Below are photos of the Lafayette Building from November 28, 2009. They are slowly picking apart the structure much as they did with the Statler Hotel a few years ago. The east wall is now gone and the semi-circle shows it was the landings for the elevator shafts. The interior had the standard 1960's remuddling that took away all of it's character and charm making it look like a boring office building in the 'burbs. Many thanks to Richard Weiss for photos and update. 11-09

 

Lafayette Building on November 28, 2009
Detroit, MI
Photo courtesy Richard Weiss

Lafayette Building on November 28, 2009
Detroit, MI
Photo courtesy Richard Weiss

 

UPDATE 02/10 : The giant "Police" lettering in the picture above is left over from the area being used as a set for the movie Red Dawn that was filming there in October 2009. For the movie they made the parking structure look like police HQ and they even covered up the roof with fake roofing material and air conditioners. Many thanks to Richard Weiss and update. 02-10

 

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© Copyright 1998-2017 Syd Nagoshi. All rights reserved. No portion of this document may be reproduced, copied or revised without written permission of the author.