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Guardian Building, Detroit
USA

From http://www.guardianbuilding.com/history.asp

The Union Trust Company commissioned the architectural firm of Smith Hinchman and Grylls to design their headquarters, and they turned the task over to head designer Wirt C. Rowland

The building became known as the Union Guardian Building and today is known as the Guardian Building.

The Guardian Building is one of the most significant and striking Art Deco skyscrapers in the world. The building’s taller north tower and smaller octagonal south tower are connected with a nave-like block similar to the plan of a cathedral. In fact, the Guardian Building was once promoted as “the Cathedral of Finance.” Its grandeur was, and still is, unconventional. Visitors are awestruck by the explosion of color, craftsmanship and blending of Native American, Aztec, and Arts & Crafts influences.

The lobby features a large glass mosaic and the banking hall’s spectacular mural are both by Michigan artist Ezra Winter. Flanking the sides of the main entrance are reliefs designed by Detroit’s own architectural sculptor Corrado Parducci. In all, forty artisans worked on the structure’s painted murals and ceilings, intricate tile work, mosaic and stained glass, marble fixtures and vaulted lobby.

The lavish use of elegant and timeless materials is plentiful throughout the building. For example, the Italian Travertine marble used as steps and wall surfaces, contrasted with the deep red Numidian marble imported from Africa. Brilliantly colored Rookwood tiles fill the lobby’s vaulted ceiling. Monel metal was used in the large ornamental screen dividing the banking hall and main lobby. Even the office corridors and restrooms are lined in a Tavernelle marble from Tennessee.

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Copyright: Adam Shomsky
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 13018x6509
Uploaded: 30/01/2010
Updated: 09/09/2014
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Tags: detroit; michigan; union guardian building; art deco; architecture; hdr; cathedral of finance
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