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150 West Jefferson

150 W. Jefferson Avenue from Cobo Hall
150 W. Jefferson Avenue from Cobo Hall
Author's Collection

Downtown Detroit is well known for its fantastic collection of architecture. While it is most known among architecture buffs for its large amount of pre- Great Depression architecture, the city also contains notable examples of modern architecture as well. Buildings such as the Rennaissance Center and One Detroit Center are just as famous in the Detroit skyline as the Penobscot and Guardian buildings. One of these modernly- styled buildings is 150 West Jefferson.

During the 1980s a movement of Post-modernistic style swept through architectural circles. Detroit's first example of this in skyscraper form came with the construction of this building, known rather simplisticly by its address, 150 West Jefferson Avenue. Although it is sometimes known as the John Madden building, after the Denver developer who financed it, its address remains its most commonly used name. Construction of this granite and concrete building began in 1987, it opened in 1989. It was designed by Heller and Leake and BEI Associates, today Heller Manus Architects, a San Francisco- based firm. This high- rise office building was constructed with 25 floors, and with over 500,000 square feet of space for developing. The Financial District's people mover stop is at this structure, giving it ease of access to the rest of downtown.

This building, outside of One Detroit Center, is one of the newest skyscrapers in Detroit, and today has become a center of vitality in the Financial District. Outside of the many firms this building houses are several eateries, including a coffee shop, an upscale restaurant and a casual restaurant specializing in soups and sandwiches. It is a center of activity during business hours, and is a sign of the city's slow rise from the gloom of its decline.

Source: Hill, Eric J., and John Gallagher. AIA Detroit. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2003. p. 16