Monday, February 10, 2020

Local Tourist -- Guardian Building, Detroit

On Sunday afternoon, February 9, the Local Tourist and his lovely wife got to downtown Detroit to tour an architectural gem, the Guardian Building.  The tour was hosted by Pure Detroit, and it is FREE.  You do need to register with Pure Detroit, which is easy enough because they have a gift shop right in the main atrium of the Guardian Building.

The Guardian Building is a structure which is pretty unique to any sky line, and the d├ęcor on the inside is phenomenal.  The ceiling is one giant canvass painting which features pre-Columbian designs.  There are also two Tiffany clocks (they are back to back, one facing the main entrance and the other in the atrium), which are also very rare.  While the entire atrium is striking, the main feature is the state of Michigan mural which pays homage to various aspects of industry and commerce in Michigan.

While various owners over the decades sought to make "improvements" to the building over the years, their attempts at modernization have mercifully been stripped back to show the building in its (mostly) original state.  This gem has been polished, and it has been restored to its amazing original design.  It makes me wonder who thought it needed improvements because it looks great in its original context.

If you are downtown, go tour the Guardian Building--Saturdays and Sundays at 12 Noon or 2:00 PM.  Here are some photos to entice you.

These tiles and the stained glass image adorn the entryway to the elevators.

Originally built to house a institution, this mosaic greets you in the lobby.
The photo below looks above this mosaic and gives you an idea what the ceiling above
in the main entryway looks like.  Vibrant colors!

This is the main atrium in the Guardian Building.  All the artwork on the ceiling is painted on canvass.

This mural of Michigan is reason enough to visit the Guardian Building.  It is four stories tall.

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