Designed by Louis Kemper in 1916, the Book Tower is one of the most recognized buildings in Detroit’s skyline. The 486,760 square-foot structure, which was originally an office tower in an Italian Renaissance style, was acquired by Bedrock in 2015, Detroit’s premier full-service real estate company.

An extensive exterior restoration included the replacement of 2,483 historically-accurate windows and full restoration of the ornamental cornice complete with caryatid statues. A historic art glass skylight will be brought back to its original splendor as part of Bedrock’s work with ODA.

ODA’s strategic role is to update and expand on Book Tower’s programing and existing structures, creating nearly 500,000 square feet of downtown residential, hospitality, retail and office space. The restoration of this 38-story landmark is one of the most ambitious and high-profile adaptive reuse projects in the heart of Downtown Detroit and will provide an opportunity to create a cohesive civic vision for Washington Boulevard; bringing people, place, and events together. The building’s residents and guests will share amenity spaces throughout the different levels as well as awe-inspiring entertaining spaces on the roof of the Book Building portion of the property.

The objective is to add a forward-looking mixed-use program to Detroit’s growing downtown that will meet the needs of businesses, visitors and residents alike.

The plans include a blend of public and private space, including a variety of public amenities in the form of retail, galleries, restaurants and cafe – many with open sight lines to Washington Boulevard and Grand River Avenue – adding to the city’s pedestrian experience. Accessible from multiple sides, the building will serve as a point of engagement in the city center, unlocking its potential as a link between Grand Circus Park, all the way to the Cobo Center.

Location: 1265 Washington Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226

Client: Bedrock

Size: 486760 SF

Team: Eran Chen, Ryoko Okada, Gene Pyo, Alex Ward, Gregory Kamback, Celia Julve, Tulika Lokapur