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Lost American Architecture >
Old Detroit City Hall

Old Detroit City Hall

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Built to last in Amherst sandstone, the Detroit City Hall, in the state of Michigan, was the center of life in the city for almost 100 years. The 180-foot clock tower was the centerpiece of the city. Almost every year since its opening, its booming bell summoned hundreds of couples to City Hall on new Year’s Eve, where they would kiss at the stroke of midnight. The interior of the building also had beautiful features, such as black walnut and oak furnishings. Natural light poured into the courtrooms and offices through 15 large windows on each floor. The floors were covered in black and white marble, complimented by an elegant grand staircase.

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Built to last in Amherst sandstone, the Detroit City Hall, in the state of Michigan, was the center of life in the city for almost 100 years. The 180-foot clock tower was the centerpiece of the city. Almost every year since its opening, its booming bell summoned hundreds of couples to City Hall on new Year’s Eve, where they would kiss at the stroke of midnight. The interior of the building also had beautiful features, such as black walnut and oak furnishings. Natural light poured into the courtrooms and offices through 15 large windows on each floor. The floors were covered in black and white marble, complimented by an elegant grand staircase.

But heartbreakingly, the fate of this building that hosted eight presidents (Cleveland, McKinley, Taft, Wilson, Hoover, both Roosevelts and Truman) was sealed in 1961, when it became yet another victim of the wrecking ball. Historians claim that Detroit has suffered no greater loss, architecturally. 

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