Detroit Free Press Building

Detroit Free Press Building
Detroit Free Press Building
General information
Type Office
Location 321 W. Lafayette Street
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Construction started 1924
Completed 1925
Technical details
Floor count 16
Design and construction
Architect Albert Kahn
Detroit Free Press Building
Coordinates: 42°19′48″N 83°3′3″W / 42.33°N 83.05083°W / 42.33; -83.05083Coordinates: 42°19′48″N 83°3′3″W / 42.33°N 83.05083°W / 42.33; -83.05083
Governing body: Private
Part of: Detroit Financial District (#09001067)
Designated CP: December 14, 2009

The Detroit Free Press Building is a building designed by architect Albert Kahn and constructed in downtown Detroit, Michigan, in 1924 and completed a year later.

The high-rise building has two basement floors, and 14 floors above the ground, for a total of 16 floors. The building features Art Deco architecture style, and is a steel-frame structure faced with limestone. Its design features stepped massing in the central tower and flanking wings. When constructed, the building housed editorial and business offices for the paper as well as printing facilities and rental space.[1] The building is adorned with bas-relief figures, sculpted by Ulysses A. Ricci, symbolizing commerce and communication.[2]

The building, sited at 321 West Lafayette, has been unoccupied since the newspaper offices moved in approximately 1987. It was formerly the home of the Detroit Free Press, and while occupied by the newspaper offices, displayed large neon signs of the newspaper logo on its roof facing north and south. The newspaper is now located in the building Albert Kahn designed for The Detroit News at 615 West Lafayette. Because the News Building is only three stories, it is constructed of reinforced concrete and faced with concrete fashioned to look like stone.[3] When Free Press offices originally moved into the building, they occupied the southern portion and used the address of 600 West Fort Street while The News used its long-time address of 615 West Lafayette.

In spring 2003, the Detroit Free Press Building was added to a short list of possible sites to replace the Detroit Police Headquarters. Another candidate was the Michigan Central Station, both of which are part of the city's efforts at urban development in Detroit.

In February 2009 it was announced that the building would be turned into a sound stage for Motor City Film Works production. There has not been a set date of completion for this project.

In June 2010, Brownfield Redevelopment Authority approved incentive financing for a deal to remake the Free Press Building into residential apartments with office and retail space.[4]



  1. ^ Eric J. Hill and John Gallagher (2002). AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. p. 84. ISBN 0814331203. 
  2. ^ Laura Rose Ashlee (2005). Traveling Through Time: A Guide to Michigan's Historical Markers. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. p. 471. ISBN 0472030663. 
  3. ^ Meyer, Katherine Mattingly and Martin C.P. McElroy with Introduction by W. Hawkins Ferry, Hon A.I.A. (1980). Detroit Architecture A.I.A. Guide Revised Edition. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1651-4. 
  4. ^ "Old Free Press building makeover moves ahead". Detroit Free Press ( June 16, 2010. 
  • Sharoff, Robert (2005). American City: Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3270-6. 

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