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Renaissance Center

Built: 1973-1981
Cost: $350,000,000.00
Designed by: John Portman
Renovated: 1996 at a cost of $500,000,000
Type: Skyscraper
Stories: 73
Maximum Height: 737 feet / 225 meters
Location: 1 Renaissance Center Drive, Detroit, United States
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A ppropriately named, the Renaissance Center signaled the rebirth of Detroit's inner city. Once a burned-out shell of its former self, corporations fled downtown Detroit as crime and poverty began strangling the city. But in 1976, Henry Ford II took a chance on downtown -- a chance that paid off. His success has been an example to other cities, and has been instrumental in the rebirth of downtown districts across the United States. The Renaissance Center is a city unto itself consisting of a central 73-story tower, ringed by four 39-story towers, flanked by two 21-story towers. From the Ontario side of the river you can see how it stands away from the heart of downtown and forms its own skyline. If the design looks familiar, it should. The same architect who put together the Renaissance Center plan is also the mind behind the Peachtree Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Just as that skyscraper added a touch of glitz that helped Atlanta flourish into the capital of the New South, the Renaissance Center has allowed Detroit to rise again.

  • At the time of its completion, the central 73-story tower was the tallest hotel in the United States. It has 1,300 rooms.
  • This building was built by the real estate division of Ford Motor Company.

  • 1973: Construction begins
  • 1977: This building opens to the public.
  • 1981: Construction ends
  • 1996: General Motors moves its headquarters to this building.
  • May, 2008: General Motors buys this building for $626,000,000 in cash. It had been previously leasing space in the building for its headquarters.

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Brent Kampert
Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 @ 10:56am
Rating: Five stars.
It's a Great Addition to the Detroit Skyline. The taller building was actually built in 1973, but the smaller portions were built between 1973-1981. This building was the tallest cylindrical tower in the U.S., until the completion of Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, in 1976. Still a landmark to Detroit's Skyline and the Midwest. I wish to see Detroit someday.

Rainbow Bright : )
Thursday, September 8th, 2005 @ 11:18am
Rating: Five stars.
I luv the D... It is a magnificant building, especially when dancing at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival with it in the background... Just Fabulous!


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