Westin Book Cadillac Hotel

Westin Book Cadillac Hotel

:"This article is about the Book-Cadillac Hotel. For the "Book Tower" in Detroit, Michigan see that article."Infobox Skyscraper
building_name = Westin Book Cadillac Hotel

built = 1924, 2008
use = hotel
residential high-rise
location = 1114 Washington Blvd.
Detroit, Michigan
roof = 106.4 m (349 ft)
top_floor =
antenna_spire =
floor_count = 31
floor_area = 455 hotel rooms67 condominium units
elevator_count =
architect = Louis Kamper
Ferchill Group
skyscraperpage_id = 3380

The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit is a remodeled upscale high-rise hotel in downtown Detroit, Michigan built in the Neo-Renaissance style. Built as the Book-Cadillac, it embodies Neo-Classical elements and building sculpture, incorporating brick and limestone. Among its notable features are the statues of General Anthony Wayne, Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, Chief Pontiac and Robert Navarre along the ornate Michigan Avenue facade and the three copper terraces that top the building.Lloyd, Marshal Davies (August 20, 2006). [http://www.mlloyd.org/gen/navarre/text/arms.htm Navarre Arms] ."www.mlloyd.org".Retrieved on June 17, 2008] The hotel is 31 stories tall, and includes exclusive 67(Sold) luxury condominiums and penthouses on the top eight floors. It reopened in October 2008 after completing a 180-million dollar renovation.


The hotel was developed by three brothers, J.B., Frank, and Herbert Book. The brothers sought to turn Detroit's Washington Boulevard into the "Fifth Avenue of the West." Part of that vision was the creation of a flagship luxury hotel. They commissioned architect Louis Kamper to design the building. He had worked with the Book brothers in 1917 on the Book Building. In 1917 they bought the old Cadillac at the northeast corner of Michigan and Washington, but World War I material shortages delayed the start of work on their new hotel. Construction finally began in 1923, and, when the building opened in December 1924, it was the tallest building in the city and the tallest hotel in the world.

The hotel cost $14 million to build and contained 1,136 guest rooms. Public spaces on the first five floors included three dining rooms, three ballrooms, a spacious lobby, and a ground floor retail arcade. On the hotel's top floor was radio station WCX, the predecessor to WJR. The hotel operated successfully until the Great Depression, when banks foreclosed and the Book brothers lost control in 1931. For much of the period after the Books lost ownership, the hotel was run by hotel industry pioneer Ralph Hitz's National Hotel Management Company.

In 1951, Sheraton bought the hotel, renamed it the Sheraton-Cadillac, and undertook massive renovations. All public spaces except the ballrooms and Italian Garden were redone, which included replacing the grand staircase with an escalator. In 1975, with business declining and the hotel in need of another renovation, Sheraton sold the hotel, and it became the Detroit-Cadillac. Ownership changed again in 1976, and it became the Radisson-Cadillac. In 1979 the Radisson chain sold it, and it became the Book-Cadillac once again. Though it was considered the city's top hotel for many years, its occupancy had fallen off significantly by this point, and the owners announced that the hotel would close. The city of Detroit, scheduled to host the 1980 Republican National Convention, did not want to face the prospect of losing more downtown hotel space so in late 1979 the city entered into a partnership through the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation with the owners to keep the hotel open.

By 1983 it was decided that the only way to bring the hotel back to profitability was to convert it into a mixed-use property. The hotel's 1100 rooms were deemed too numerous to fill and were too small by modern standards. The plan would turn the building into the Book-Cadillac Plaza, a 12 floor, 550 room hotel and 11 floors of office space. The hotel closed its doors in 1984 for the renovation, but those plans were quickly dashed as proposed construction cost soared, and Detroit's economic situation continued to deteriorate. For the next two years developers came and went, but with no one able to take on the increasingly complex renovation and it was decided in 1986 to liquidate its contents. After the sale, the hotel's retail tenants who had planned to stay through the renovation moved out and the building was shuttered, a state it would stay in for the next 20 years. Time passed and the unmaintained property fell victim to time, the elements, vandalism, and urban scavengers. [ [http://detroityes.com/webisodes/2003/02bcad/ Book Cadillac Hotel - Detroit ] ]

In July 2003, after years of legal battles to fully acquire the building and to find a developer, the city of Detroit announced a $150 million renovation deal with Historic Hospitality Investments a subsidiary of Kimberly-Clark to turn the building into a Renaissance Hotel. Work started shortly after the announcement but came to a halt in November when construction crews discovered more damage than anticipated. The associated cost overrun caused Kimberly-Clark to back out of the deal. A new renovation plan through the Cleveland-based Ferchill Group was announced in June 2006, with the Book-Cadillac to become a Westin Hotel and Residences. Work on that project started in August 2006 and was completed in the fall of 2008, with a grand opening celebration scheduled for October 25, 2008. It is hoped that its re-opening may spur new business growth in its neighborhood.


* Address: 1114 Washington Boulevard Detroit, Michigan 48226
* Architect: Louis Kamper
* Developer: Book Brothers
* Developer (renovation): Ferchill Group
* Counting the two prominent but small penthouse towers (the larger north tower and smaller south tower), the building is 31 stories in height.
* On June 27, 2006 the Ferchill Group closed on a deal to renovate this structure into a mixed-use hotel and condominium building including a 455-room Westin hotel, and 67 condominiums units priced above $280,000. The project was slated to cost $176 million and is scheduled to be completed in fall 2008.
* As part of the renovation the Grand Ballroom (to be renamed the Venitian Ballroom) and Italian Garden will be restored to their original state. A three story, matching addition containing a new convert|11000|sqft|m2|sing=on ballroom, pool, hot-tub, fitness center, spa, and additional conference space will be built behind the hotel lining State Street.
* The building sits atop three subterranean basement floors, the deepest of which contains some inoperable, rusted mechanical equipment too large to remove during renovation.
* A ten story parking garage has been added to the hotel.

In popular culture

*It was Detroit's tallest building, and the tallest hotel in world, when it opened in 1924.

*On May 2, 1939, New York Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig collapsed on the hotel's grand staircase. Gehrig, who would later be later diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, decided to sit out that afternoon's game against the Detroit Tigers, ending his consecutive games played streak.

*The 1947 Frank Capra movie State of the Union featured scenes that were filmed at the hotel.

*Scenes in the 1974 cult movie Detroit 9000 were shot at the hotel.

Photo gallery


References and further reading

*Cite book | author=Hill, Eric J. and John Gallagher | title= AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture| year=2002 | publisher= Wayne State University Press | id=ISBN 0-8143-3120-3

*Cite book | author=Kohrman, David | title= Detroit's Statler and Book-Cadillac Hotels (Images of America)| year=2002 | publisher= Arcadia Publishing | id=ISBN 0-7385-2025-x

*Cite book | author=Meyer, Katherine Mattingly and Martin C.P. McElroy with Introduction by W. Hawkins Ferry, Hon A.I.A.| title=Detroit Architecture A.I.A. Guide Revised Edition | year= 1980| publisher= Wayne State University Press| id = ISBN 0-8143-1651-4

*Cite book | author= Sharoff, Robert | title=American City: Detroit Architecture| publisher=Wayne State University Press| year=2005| id=ISBN 0-8143-3270-6

*Cite book | author=Savage, Rebecca Binno and Greg Kowalski | title= Art Deco in Detroit (Images of America) | publisher=Arcadia | year=2004 | id=ISBN 0-7385-3228-2

External links

* [http://www.bookcadillacwestin.com/ The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit Hotel] Official site
* [http://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=3001 The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit Hotel] Westin website page
* [http://www.westinbookcadillacresidences.com/ Westin Book Cadillac Detroit Residences official site]
* [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=Detroit,+MI&ie=UTF8&t=k&om=1&ll=42.330615,-83.049989&spn=0.002241,0.006394 Google Maps location of the Westin Book-Cadillac Hotel]
* [http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=118531 The Westin Book-Cadillac Hotel at Emporis.com]
* [http://www.skyscraperpage.com/cities/?buildingID=3380 SkyscraperPage.com's Profile on the Book-Cadillac Hotel]
* [http://search.clickondetroit.com/query.html?la=en&mkt=&heading=&qt=Book-Cadillac+Hotel WDIV-TV Detroit's stories on the Westin Book-Cadillac Hotel]
* [http://forgottendetroit.com/caddy/index.html Book-Cadillac Hotel at Forgotten Detroit]

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