One of the most exciting renovations in Detroit right now is Book Tower and the Book Building. Bedrock is leading the revamp, which should be complete by the end of 2022. Media had an opportunity to take a look inside the progress on Thursday.
When complete, the building will have 229 residential units across 27 floors, 118 extended-stay hotel rooms through Roost, an indoor/outdoor rooftop bar, and a new glass-encased 13th floor event space with views of the tower. An activated alley will be added behind the building.
The original glass skylight in the three-story atrium will be a focal point for the redevelopment. It's currently being restored by Femenella & Associates.
While some marble in the corridors was saved, much has been brought in from Wolverine Marble Company to make the marble consistent throughout the building.
New York's ODA Architecture is the design architect on the project. Christman/Brinker of Detroit are the general contractors. Femenella & Associates is also handling the window restoration; 2,483 windows have currently been replaced and installed. Russell Plastering of Ferndale is undertaking the impressive plaster ceiling restoration.
Method Hospitality out of Philadelphia will operate Roost, along with two restaurants, the lobby bar and lounge, a bakery, and the 4,500-square-foot 13th floor rooftop event space.
The 38-story Book Tower dates back to 1926 and was designed by Louis Kamper, while the 13-story Book Building opened in 1917. There were plans for an 81-story tower on the other side of the Book Building, but the Great Depression put a halt to those. The Italian Renaissance Book Tower has stood out in the skyline since its arrival - and not always in a good way. The building was neglected for years, with a buildup of soot that made it look much darker than it should. Bedrock bought the building in 2015, and one of its first tasks was to power wash the building and replace some of the terra cotta ornamentation on the building.
The limestone and masonry facade has been restored, along with its copper roof. In short, it looks like a different building.
See the gallery above for more photos and renderings, and the before/after below of the event space.