Art Deco Architecture

The Old Modern - Then and Now

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Always Iconic, Empire State Building Now Goes for Hip

Commercial real estate feature on recent upgrades at the Empire State Building< meant to attract high-end tenants. This after the building’s lobby has completed a total renovation and the building has undergone a massive overhaul to meet or exceed modern energy standards. -Wendy

From the NYT:

Workers inside the Empire State Building may soon be able to imagine testing their weight-lifting prowess or other muscle-building regimens against the mythical feats of King Kong who once scaled this building’s facade.

This summer, a 15,000-square-foot fitness center for tenants and their employees will open in the concourse of the Empire State Building, part of an effort to reinvent the 83-year-old tower as a modern day urban campus.

The gym, with white, undulating tile walls and dark wood finishes, can accommodate the building’s roughly 10,000 workers. Executives who don’t want to work out with the rank-and-file will have access to a private gym suite.

Other changes to the Art Deco landmark are also meant to appeal to a high-end market. Empire State Realty Trust, which owns and operates the building at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue, is also adding a conference center on the 67th floor and a 100-seat white-tablecloth restaurant on the lobby level, with private dining below. The restaurant, State Bar and Grill, wants to cater to a business clientele, rather than the millions of tourists who visit the observatory every year (about 4.3 million in 2013).

Filed under empire state building skyscraper real estate nyc new york city manhattan commercial real estate

23 notes &

William-Oliver Building, Atlanta, Georgia
Photos from Georgia State University Photograph Collections
Tracy O’Neal Photographs Collection

Fabulous early 1930s office town right next door to me. Now condos and home to my best friend’s husband. In one photo you see the William-Oliver standing alone, in the other, after the Midcentury Modern skyscraper now known as Park Tower was built. I live basically on the other side of it and can see it as I’m typing this. -Wendy 

(Source: )

Filed under architecture art deco downtown atlanta atlanta 1930s skyscraper five points peachtree street marietta street atlanta history

27 notes &

Industrial Stevens Apartments, Detroit, Michigan
Historic photos via HistoricDetroit.org

Once an office building, still standing, now as low-income housing.

From listing on HistoricDetroit.org

1410 Washington Blvd, Detroit, Michigan

AKA Industrial Bank Building, Industrial Building Apartments, Industrial Morris Plan Bank Building

Status: Open

Year opened: 1928

Architect: Louis Kamper

Style: Art Moderne

Where prosperous bankers once kicked back their heels in gilded splendor, the Industrial Stevens Apartments today is home to low-income senior citizens.

In the 1920s, Detroit’s Book brothers were turning Washington Boulevard into the Fifth Avenue of the west, erecting skyscraper after skyscraper designed by architect Louis Kamper. This Art Moderne-Art Deco skyscraper was yet another part of their plan, rising 22 stories on the northeastern corner of the boulevard and Grand River Avenue…

The Free Press wrote in February 1926 that the building was “another epochal undertaking associated with the modern development of Washington boulevard” as it ushered in “the first of the financial institutions to seek a permanent home in the midst of Detroit’s new center of concentrated business enterprises.”

…Including land, the structure cost more than $2 million to build, about $24.7 million when adjusted for inflation….

While the exterior looks much like it did when it opened, the interior has been heavily modernized. Today, it is used as Section 8 senior housing with 165 units and is managed by Wingate Management Co.

Filed under art deco art moderne architecture skyscraper detroit michigan detroit history historic reuse adaptive reuse 1928 1920s louis kamper

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Water Board Building, Detroit, MichiganPhoto by Ryan Southern for HistoricDetroit.org
Art Moderne skyscraper in Detroit.
From HistoricDetroit.org&#8217;s listing for the building:

The Art Moderne-styled Water Board Building has been a familiar part of Detroit’s skyline since October 1928. The Common council provided $1 million in the 1927-28 city budget for a triangular-shaped building on a site bounded by Randolph, Farmer, and Bates Streets. Louis Kamper - a Detroit-based architect known for his work on the houses of prominent Detroiters, as well as Detroit landmarks like the Book Building (1917), the Washington Boulevard Building (1923), and the Book-Cadillac Hotel (1924) - originally planned for a 14-story building. But, “because of the high value of the site, the Board decided that … it would build a twenty story building.”
The completed building reflects the trend toward simplification of forms typical of the Jazz Age. Standing 23 stories, it is comprised of a five-story base, a 15-story shaft, and a three-story penthouse. The total cost - including the $250,000 paid for the site, and the architect’s five-percent commission - was $1,768,760.20. It was one of the last buildings designed by Kamper, who was in his late sixties during its design and construction.

P.S. Look for a slew of Detroit photos (all from same source) coming up.

Water Board Building, Detroit, Michigan
Photo by Ryan Southern for HistoricDetroit.org

Art Moderne skyscraper in Detroit.

From HistoricDetroit.org’s listing for the building:

The Art Moderne-styled Water Board Building has been a familiar part of Detroit’s skyline since October 1928. The Common council provided $1 million in the 1927-28 city budget for a triangular-shaped building on a site bounded by Randolph, Farmer, and Bates Streets. Louis Kamper - a Detroit-based architect known for his work on the houses of prominent Detroiters, as well as Detroit landmarks like the Book Building (1917), the Washington Boulevard Building (1923), and the Book-Cadillac Hotel (1924) - originally planned for a 14-story building. But, “because of the high value of the site, the Board decided that … it would build a twenty story building.”

The completed building reflects the trend toward simplification of forms typical of the Jazz Age. Standing 23 stories, it is comprised of a five-story base, a 15-story shaft, and a three-story penthouse. The total cost - including the $250,000 paid for the site, and the architect’s five-percent commission - was $1,768,760.20. It was one of the last buildings designed by Kamper, who was in his late sixties during its design and construction.

P.S. Look for a slew of Detroit photos (all from same source) coming up.

Filed under art deco art moderne architecture skyscraper detroit michigan 1920s louis kamper

10,992 notes &

Carbon and Carbide Building, Chicago, IllinoisPhoto by Terrence Faircloth
The amazing C&amp;C Building.
From Flickr:

The tower of the art deco Carbide and Carbon Building seen from the north. The building now houses the Hard Rock Hotel on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.

From Wikipedia:

The Carbide &amp; Carbon Building is a Chicago landmark located at 230&#160;N. Michigan Avenue. The building, which was built in 1929, is an example of Art Deco architecture designed by Daniel and Hubert Burnham, sons of architect Daniel Burnham, and was designated a Chicago Landmark on May 9, 1996. Originally built as a high-rise office tower, the Carbide &amp; Carbon Building was converted in 2004 to the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago. The building has 37 floors and is 503 feet (153&#160;m) tall.

Carbon and Carbide Building, Chicago, Illinois
Photo by Terrence Faircloth

The amazing C&C Building.

From Flickr:

The tower of the art deco Carbide and Carbon Building seen from the north. The building now houses the Hard Rock Hotel on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.

From Wikipedia:

The Carbide & Carbon Building is a Chicago landmark located at 230 N. Michigan Avenue. The building, which was built in 1929, is an example of Art Deco architecture designed by Daniel and Hubert Burnham, sons of architect Daniel Burnham, and was designated a Chicago Landmark on May 9, 1996. Originally built as a high-rise office tower, the Carbide & Carbon Building was converted in 2004 to the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago. The building has 37 floors and is 503 feet (153 m) tall.

Filed under art deco architecture carbon and carbide building chicago illinois skyscraper 1929 1920s