Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Guardian Building - Detroit, MI

Have you seen the "Import from Detroit" - Eminem commercial?  Aired on the Super Bowl last year?  As Eminem is cruising around Detroit, he passes in front of a concierge standing at the entranceway of the Guardian Building.

The Art Deco Guardian Building was originally called the Union Trust Building

The concierge is Christopher - he gives free tours of the amazing Guardian Building Monday through Friday from 10-12.  How do I know this?  Two weeks ago my sister treated me to a day in Detroit to experience this.

Thought it was about time I shared some of my favorite pics.

This was formerly the bank area - it had 80 teller windows!
Close-up of the Michigan mural

Stairway leading up to the "bank" area.  Christopher can tell you where all the marble comes from!

Mural in the lobby was created by an artist from Traverse City

He takes you up to the 32nd floor - Look!  The Ambassador Bridge!

Jefferson Avenue (left) - Belle Isle (background) - Ren Cen (right)

There are only 5 of these Tiffany clocks in existence and the Guardian Building owns two!  The  other one is behind this one.

Fabulous Art Deco elevator bank with Tiffany window called "Prosperity".

Look for me!  I always have a camera (and a gps) in hand!
Next few pictures are from Lorna's camera!

Better view of elevator bank

This is Christopher!

Did I mention we tour the bank vaults in the basement?
I love Detroit, and my sister & I will be seen out and about its wondrous streets over the next few weeks.
We're volunteering to plant 1000 seedlings in one of its parks.
Then it's the Belle Isle geocache event/potluck.
Moving of the Koi for the Belle Isle Aquarium
Cleanup and potluck on Belle Isle
Distributing books to promote literacy.

PHEW!  Now I just need to find time to quilt!
Hope you like my picture journey!


  1. thanks so much for sharing--really enjoyed your tour!

  2. That's so cool! What an amazing building! :0)

  3. Dear Elisa,
    When I was a 22 year old at Wayne in 1965 a girlfriend and I strolled merrily down Cass Avenue and ended up at this building whose name I did not then know. We strode, with our hearts in our mouths into this jewel box and,without stopping to stare, walked into an elevator without, I seem to remember, ever noticing the enormously beautiful surroundings. We, without hindrance, flew up to the top and stepped out onto the roof, looked around and came back down fearing being chastised. We weren't. I never had time, as a student, to really explore Detroit. I wanted to. I have visited it for one day 3 times only since I left in 1972.I was, of course shocked. First in 1992, then 2003 and lastly in September 2012. Since then I have been gathering about 700 images in addition to my own 100 quickly taken shots, walking up and down streets I loved and lived on through Google Map and many more I never was able to before and assembling a Facebook Album. I have enjoyed a couple hundred hours doing it. I have read and made annotations to go with the photographs of the history: industry, architecture, racial iniquities, publishing and industrial giants, culture and much more. I hope you don't mind me borrowing some of your images of, particularly, the Union Guardian Building. I have others, but some of them are too small or badly lit. Yours are particularly good and have a lovely personal friendly quality. You might like to become a friend of mine on Facebook so that you can see the essay. I am a cyber baby and FB seemed to be the most easy way of forming it. My Facebook title is Palfi Laughologist Rinehart. I am a professional clown/comedian and photographer and have lived in England since 1972. I to love Detroit. I was a country boy from the Saginaw Valley when I came to Motown It blew me away. Where do you live? I think that what you are doing planting trees moving Koi and distributing books to try to improve literacy is more noble that whatever the Big Three, Albert Kahn or even George and "Nellie" Booth did. Good luck reviving the heart and soul of Detroit and love to Ginger, Oscar, your sister and regards to Christopher next you see him, Palfi.

    My clown website is My photography website is my email is Thanks and Big Respect, Palfi


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