Denise McGeen’s article on One Woodward Avenue at HistoricDetroit.org says (in part):
At the heart of Detroit’s Civic Center, towering over Hart Plaza, Woodward Avenue and the Detroit River stands One Woodward, one of Detroit’s most celebrated mid-century modern structures.
The building was commissioned in 1958 by the Michigan Consolidated Gas Company Building. Detroit architect Minoru Yamasaki designed the skyscraper in association with the firm Smith, Hinchman & Grylls. The building would open in 1963 and marked a first for Yamasaki, who had never designed a skyscraper before. The building incorporates a pre-cast concrete exterior, narrow windows, Gothic arches, decorative tracery and sculptural gardens that later became the architect’s signature motifs. It has been called the fore-runner to Yamasaki’s renowned World Trade Center in New York.
…The tower’s all-welded, steel frame is clad with two-story, pre-cast concrete panels that hold 4,800 vertical hexagon-shaped floor-to-ceiling windows. The panels hang above the exterior terrace as if dripping from the building’s frame. Hexagonal grillwork wraps the building’s top two stories. The roofline features delicate crenellation — an architectural feature similar to a castle’s battlements.
Read on for much more including the challenges this project posed for Yamasaki as his first project.
More architecture on Michigan in Pictures.