Michigan’s Tallest: The Renaissance Center in Detroit

renaissance center detroit

renaissance center detroit, photo by Detroitmi97.

The list of the tallest buildings in Michigan says that the title of tallest building in Michigan belongs to the Renaissance Center at 77 stories and 722 feet tall. It also has the distinction of being the tallest all-hotel skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere.

The RenCen is owned by General Motors and Wikipedia says that the Ren Cen was conceived as a catalyst for Detroit’s economy by Henery Ford II and investors, and that it generated in excess of $1 billion in economic growth for downtown Detroit in its first year of operation.

John Portman was the principal architect for the original design. The first phase constructed a five tower rosette rising from a common base. Four 39-story office towers surround the 73-story hotel rising from a square-shaped podium which includes a shopping center, restaurants, brokerage firms, banks, a four-screen movie theatre, private clubs.The first phase officially opened in March 1977. Portman’s design renewed attention to city architecture, constructing the world’s tallest hotel at the time. Two additional 21-story office towers (known as Tower 500 and Tower 600) opened in 1981. This type of complex has been termed a city within a city.

…The architects’ initial design for the Renaissance Center focused on creating secure interior spaces, while its design later expanded and improved to connect with the exterior spaces and waterfront through a reconfigured interior, open glass entryways, and a Wintergarden.

While it might be a little over-photographed, it’s an amazing space for photographers to explore, inside and out.

Mark says he can see the whole world from here – can you? Check it out background boomtacular and see some other shots from high up in the RenCen in his detroit top slideshow.

More Renaissance Center and don’t miss the RenCen slideshow from the Absolute Michigan pool!

More of Michigan’s tallest on Michigan in Pictures.

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