April 28 is World Art Deco Day, and Detroit is blessed with incredible Art Deco architecture. While the automobile industry was booming in the early 20th century, Art Deco buildings went up downtown and across the city. So to celebrate this day, we're asking which of these Art Deco gems is your favorite?
Above is the lobby of the Guardian Building, or the Cathedral of Finance as it's sometimes called. It's known as one of the great examples of Art Deco architecture in the world. Designed by Wirt C. Rowland and built for the Union Trust Company, the Guardian Building contains intricate tiling inside and outside, and is cladded with nearly 2 million orange bricks.
Just down the block and across the street stands the handsome Penobscot Building (below), which was the tallest building in Michigan when it was opened in 1929. It also held an observation deck, and plans have come and gone for opening it again. Also designed by Rowland, its sculptural setbacks toward the top lead up to an orb that can be seen from 40 miles away. It's faced some challenges in recent years, and could be helped with a new set of owners.
And of course, there's the Fisher Building, "Detroit's Largest Art Object." Designed by Albert Kahn and commissioned by the Fisher brothers as a gift to the city, the Fisher Building stands in New Center as one of the most beautiful buildings ever built. Mosaics and marble line the interior, and its distinctive roof makes it even more recognizable in the skyline.
Aside from the big three above, Detroit has a plethora of skyscrapers and smaller Art Deco Buildings, including Cliff Bell's, the Maccabees Building, the recently restored Albert Kahn Building near the Fisher Building, and the Vanity Ballroom.
Which Art Deco building is your favorite? State your case in the comments below.