Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Detroit's Renaissance Center

Renaissance Center

It's tall and modern-looking, almost like something out of the Jetsons. It's the beautiful Renaissance Center, located on Detroit's east riverfront and shining magnificently in this picture I took a few weeks ago from Campus Martius.

Built in the early 1970s to help Detroit recover from the devastating population flight it experienced during the latter decade, the Ren Cen - as it is commonly known - was funded by five organizations that contributed a combined $350 million to the project.

Considered the biggest project ever undertaken by the city of Detroit, the Renaissance Center's slim design and glass exterior was not without its critics; in fact, many architects and designers publicly ridiculed the buildings, calling them such things as "horribly designed glass towers that separate the riverfront from the city".

Their critiques, however, did not stop the popularity of the unique project, which was purchased in 1996 by General Motors and made into the automaker's world headquarters.

Detroit's love affair with the Renaissance Center has continued to this day, apparent by the building's newest tenants, which include EDS, Julian Scott, Brooks Brothers and many others.