United Way Community Services Building

United Way Community Services Building
United Way Community Services Building
Former names Detroit Savings Bank Building
Chamber of Commerce Building
General information
Type Commercial offices
Location 1212 Griswold Street
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates 42°19′58″N 83°02′55″W / 42.33281°N 83.0486°W / 42.33281; -83.0486Coordinates: 42°19′58″N 83°02′55″W / 42.33281°N 83.0486°W / 42.33281; -83.0486
Construction started 1892
Completed 1895
Roof 48.77 m (160.0 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 12
Design and construction
Owner City of Detroit Downtown Development Authority
Architect Spier and Rohns

The United Way Community Services Building is a high-rise office building completed in 1895 at 1212 Griswold Street, at the northeast corner of State Street, in the Capitol Park Historic District of downtown Detroit, Michigan. The 48.77 m (160.0 ft) 12-storey building was designed by architects, Spier and Rohns, and was the tallest in the state when built. The lower two floors are faced with a brown rusticated stone with the main entry centered on the south facade and framed by four square pilasters of gray granite. Floors three through five are smooth stone and floors six through twelve are tan brick. The structure originally had an elaborate cornice surrounding the twelfth floor which was removed in the 1950s. The light court which extended from the fifth to twelfth floor above the entry was filled in 1988 and faced with glass and a gabled glass roof to provide additional office space.

The building was owned and occupied by the United Way for Southeastern Michigan from 1987 to 2009, and is currently owned by the city's redevelopment agency. For many years prior to 1987, it was known as the Detroit Savings Bank Building contained offices for the Detroit Savings Bank, which became Detroit Bank and Trust and later Comerica.

At the time of construction it was known as the Chamber of Commerce Building and, at 12 stories, is Detroit's oldest existing skyscraper and the among the first constructed in the city with a steel skeleton.[4] The 10-story Hammond Building (1889), now demolished, is considered the city's first skyscraper.[5] Chase Tower in the Detroit Financial District now stands on former Hammond Building site.[6]

The building during original construction c.1893 


  1. ^ United Way Community Services Building at Emporis
  2. ^ United Way Community Services Building at SkyscraperPage
  3. ^ United Way Community Services Building at Structurae
  4. ^ Hill, Eric J. and John Gallagher (2002). AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0814331203. 
  5. ^ "Hammond Building". Emporis. http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=156803. Retrieved 16 February 2011. 
  6. ^ "Chase Tower". Emporis. http://www.emporis.com/application/?nav=building&lng=3&id=118534. Retrieved 16 February 2011. 

External links

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