Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Book Tower Previous Next
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 131
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, February 23, 2007 - 8:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

After a visit to the Book Tower a few days ago Ive been trying to find some info on it. Does anyone have an image of the proposed 80 floor tower? What about any info or pictures? Was it vacant in the recent past? it is pretty empty now and tenants I spoke with said that the landlord doesnt do anything. Anybody know of plans for the building since it recently got bought. I think that the building is one of the most interesting design wise and I am interested in any info, history, news, links, anything I can learn about it.
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Hysteria
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Username: Hysteria

Post Number: 2508
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Friday, February 23, 2007 - 8:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This Book Tower thread has some info. Also some classic Itsjeff.

https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/mes sages/76017/78546.html
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Bohemianrobot
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Post Number: 5
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, February 23, 2007 - 10:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I hope the new owners give the building a good exterior cleaning.
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Apbest
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Post Number: 434
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, February 23, 2007 - 10:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://jcbeal.com/project-book .asp

JC Beal and Kraemer are working on partial loft converstion/office rennovation which includes exteriror lighting and cleaning
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Bohemianrobot
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Post Number: 6
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, February 23, 2007 - 10:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lighting too, good deal!
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Fastcarsfreedom
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Username: Fastcarsfreedom

Post Number: 132
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Friday, February 23, 2007 - 10:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Clean it and get rid of that damn fire escape.
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Scs100
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Post Number: 494
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, February 23, 2007 - 10:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Second that, fastcars.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 2455
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Friday, February 23, 2007 - 11:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Reading that website got me really excited. What a great building to restore.
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Nighternock
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Username: Nighternock

Post Number: 10
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 12:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

And if you have a spare million this might be of interest to you: http://www.westinbookcadillacr esidences.com/index.htm
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5155
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 2:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What does the Westin have to do with the Book Tower, out of curiosity?
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Nighternock
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Username: Nighternock

Post Number: 13
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 3:00 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"What does the Westin have to do with the Book Tower, out of curiosity?"

The book tower is owned by westin and being converted into a westin hotel with apartments.
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Scottr
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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 325
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 3:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

that's the book-cadillac, nighternock. the book tower is a completely different building.
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Blort
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Post Number: 19
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 3:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The fire-escape is fun to climb. Why would anyone want to get rid of it?
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Sticks
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Post Number: 220
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 3:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I kind of like the way the fire escape looks on the side. And like others have mentioned on the linked thread, there could be a legal reason why it is there still.
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Lmichigan
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Post Number: 5156
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Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 4:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree. The building has an awkward charm, and the fire escape adds to it, and is a huge part of it.
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Scs100
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Post Number: 497
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Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 9:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have to agree, without the fire escape, the building would seem a lot different.
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 133
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 10:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Has anyone been on the fire escape, when I was up there I was tempted to go on it. I could have sworn though on one floor that I saw its attachments to the structure in bad shape.
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Milwaukee
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Post Number: 856
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 11:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd keep the fire escape.
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Hysteria
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Username: Hysteria

Post Number: 2510
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 11:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Since you're all talking about the fire escape:

https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/mes sages/62684/71064.html
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Nighternock
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Username: Nighternock

Post Number: 15
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 2:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"that's the book-cadillac, nighternock. the book tower is a completely different building."

My bad. Thanks for correcting me.
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Dougw
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Post Number: 1566
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 6:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just curious Blort, have you actually climbed it? It would be a challenge, though you'd be rewarded with some great views at the top. On the thread that Hysteria pointed to, we determined that while it's not the tallest fire escape in the world, it may be the tallest in the U.S.
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Blort
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Post Number: 20
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Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 8:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, I do a lot of photography, and one of my favorite vantage points is on that fire-escape.

It's not that bad. It's just rusted pretty badly in some spots, but it's solid. People inside the building would always give me weird looks.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5158
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Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2007 - 10:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I sure hope they would, especially in this day and age. That's not even to mention that it's for emergencies.

(Message edited by lmichigan on February 24, 2007)
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Fareastsider
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Post Number: 135
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 11:13 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Blort nobody cared if they saw you on it? Have you been on it on floor 36? Does anyone know if you could get in any trouble if caught on that fire escape?
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Harpernottingham
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Username: Harpernottingham

Post Number: 133
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 11:27 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I used to work there from 2000-2002.
Stepped out onto the fire escape a few times, but didn't climb up or down. Too scary! : )

You could see into Comerica Park from the 32nd floor, which was pretty neat. I remember Opening Day 2001. I didn't have a ticket to the game, but I peeked out the window with my transistor radio in hand. On the first pitch of the game, Ernie Harwell called Mark Redman's gopher ball, and I just caught a glimpse of it from my perch on the 32nd floor (which , like much of the building at that time, was under renovation).

Man, the Book was going through some real growing pains at that time. This was before Bookie's opened on the ground floor and before they got the elevators in working order. We worked on the 21st floor, and quite often, when the elevators were out (SIX ELEVATORS and not one working!), we'd have to climb 21 flights first thing in the morning.

Good times.
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Catman_dude
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Post Number: 96
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 12:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I remember as a kid in the late 1960s, my mother (who died two months ago) and I would take a bus from Joy Road in Westland all the way to the Book Building to an appointment with a hearing aid dealer on the ground floor. In the lobby was a grand candy stand with all kinds of candy, smokes, snacks, etc. It had dark mahogany, art deco display cases. Remember the Bun candy "bar", peanut-carmel-chocolate shaped like a hamburger patty? I think it was Bun.
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 553
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 12:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

To hijack the thread away from fire escapes, I had heard once (and appears to be a true story from the outward appearance of the building) that the [previous] owner had started to clean the exterior of the building and then ran out of money. I always thought that was another interesting trivial piece of information about the building.
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 521
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 3:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Forget the fire escape, I once heard a story about two guys who were doing handstands on the roof of the tower. Talk about crazy.

BTW- The story is actually true. It came from someone I know pretty well.
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Lmichigan
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Post Number: 5160
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Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 4:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Handstands on the sloped roof?!

Charlotte, that's rather recent news. The building just changed hands months ago.
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Scs100
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Post Number: 524
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Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 4:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LOL Lmich! :-)
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Lmichigan
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Post Number: 5162
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Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 4:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't get it.
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Blort
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Post Number: 21
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Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 1:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't know if you can get in trouble for being on the fire-escape. No one ever said anything to me, so I assume not.

A lot of those floors are vacant, I don't think many people noticed me, or cared. If they did see me, they would have seem my camera and tri-pod set up, so they probably know what I'm out there for.
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Scs100
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Post Number: 526
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Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 3:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Never mind. I was thinking of something different when I read your post.
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 147
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 3:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Walking down beautiful Washington Ave. today I could not help but notice that it appears that they did clean a part of the Book Buildings exterior. After looking at the Book for a while today I think that it is now my favorite Detroit building over the Penobscot!
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Lmichigan
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Post Number: 5163
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Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 6:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, it's my favorite, as well, simply because its so odd. It like a skyscraper you'd find in an old Batman comic book or movie. It's surreal and non-conventional, but also beautiful at the same time. Yes, even in its disrepair.

(Message edited by lmichigan on February 26, 2007)
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Adamjab19
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Post Number: 750
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Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 7:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have been on that fire escape. I take the elevator up to it though, not climb the actual fire escape. If you go up the little stair well there you can get too the actual roof with a little trickery.
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Fareastsider
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Post Number: 152
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 9:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Trickery? I saw the door there but didnt go near it because I did not want to get near any communication equipment. I would assume alot of the antennas on top have controls through that door and would not want to cause trouble by being near it. You can go to floor 36 but there are 38 floors the top two are mechanical. What is it like up there, interesting? DId you go on the roof? I know that there are some interesting looking windows on those two floors I wonder what it looks like in them
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Adamjab19
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Post Number: 751
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Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 10:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nope didn't make it on the roof. Just a couple of swinging lights and servers and such. All of the elevator mechanics are up there as well, at least as far as I could tell. Get to climb a couple of ladders. Apparently this entrance is pretty well known because there were remnants of people there before. Also talking to a friend who I would never expect to know about this was the one who actually told me how to get into the upper area.
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Psip
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Post Number: 1460
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Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 11:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Something about being 500 feet in the air without walls around me gives me the willies!
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 169
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Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - 6:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I found a image of the proposed 81 floor Book Tower that was never built and would have been the worlds tallest building until the depression hit. This and the original Fisher Building design make me wonder where Detroit could have gone if the depression never hit. anyways.....
From a 1927 Calender
http://i141.photobucket.com/al bums/r50/fareastsider/100_1149 .jpg
Building Closeup
http://i141.photobucket.com/al bums/r50/fareastsider/100_1150 .jpg
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Hans57
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Username: Hans57

Post Number: 33
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - 7:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I wonder how Detroit and many other American cities would look today if the depression had never hit?
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Burnsie
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Post Number: 872
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Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - 8:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I wonder if the plans for the never-built 81-story Book Tower got much past that rendering, and if so, how detailed they got? Even more tantalizing-- if there were more detailed plans, do they still exist?
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Missnmich
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Post Number: 571
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Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - 9:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

there were remnants of people there




macabre!
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Urbanize
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Username: Urbanize

Post Number: 1
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Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - 9:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wasn't the Book and Book-Cadillac Towers both built and designed by the same group/person around the same time?

Also, didn't the same person/group have a plan to build another relative tower before the depression ruint it?
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Jasoncw
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Post Number: 348
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - 9:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, the Book brothers/family hired Louis Kampfer to do both. Washington Boulevard was their pet projects, to turn it into one of the world's classiest streets.

There was going to be another addition to the Book Building and Tower, which is the 81 story buildings others have been talking about here.
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 171
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - 11:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here is picture of a sketch from the 1920's that I think shows the Gotham city look discussed earlier the thread. The Book is in the upper right hand corner...
http://i141.photobucket.com/al bums/r50/fareastsider/100_1157 .jpg

(Message edited by fareastsider on February 28, 2007)
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Psip
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Post Number: 1472
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Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - 11:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That globe thing on the top of Peoples Outfitting/Commerce Bldg. is interesting. I have never seen that on any real photos of the area.
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Fareastsider
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Post Number: 196
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, March 05, 2007 - 6:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Went to the Book today to get some pictures and when I walked in the lobby the security guard was yelling "what is going on?" walking in the lobby were 8 or so masked police officers dressed in all black and they did not say anything to the guard or anybody. Needless to say I decided to take photos at the Book another day. Anybody know what was going on? I saw some of the officers spill into the street but they did not seem to be as serious as the officers in the building. this was around 3:30pm
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Jimaz
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Post Number: 1644
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Posted on Monday, March 05, 2007 - 6:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Masked?! What kind of masks? Is that even legal? Were their badges visible?
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 198
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Posted on Monday, March 05, 2007 - 6:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Black ski masks you could only see their eyes Im not sure if they were all wearing them. I didnt want to get in the way of what they were doing so I left. There were badges on their chests.

(Message edited by fareastsider on March 05, 2007)
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Lmichigan
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Post Number: 5182
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 05, 2007 - 6:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I suspect when he means masked he must mean gas-masked. Otherwise, we really would have heard something, Jimaz.
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Jimaz
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Post Number: 1647
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Posted on Monday, March 05, 2007 - 7:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sounds like some tactical operation. Hmm. I missed the news tonight. Hope someone fills us in!
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Detroitstar
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Username: Detroitstar

Post Number: 535
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Monday, March 05, 2007 - 11:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Perhaps a security drill or something??
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Miketoronto
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Username: Miketoronto

Post Number: 500
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 9:13 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Great building, but I found the security guard to be very rude when I was there. He would not let us take picturs in the lobby, and he kept grilling us saying "I saw you before, I saw you before", and I had to set him straight saying it was my first time ever in the building since I come from Canada, and there was no way I was there two days ago.

Anyway very rude. You would think they would want people to take interest in these buildings.
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Blort
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Post Number: 41
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Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 12:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just ignore the security guards at the Book. They are dicks.

Some fat bouncer at that horrid "Bookies" bar even kicked us out after we snuck in. We just laughed at him.
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Gistok
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Post Number: 3767
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Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 12:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If it was so horrid, why did you try sneaking in? Sounds rather juvenile...
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Jimaz
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Post Number: 1650
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Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 12:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I didn't notice any Book-related police activity mentioned in The Detroit News this morning. Perhaps it was just a drill after all.

Although if it were a drill, you'd think the security guard would have been notified beforehand.

(Message edited by Jimaz on March 06, 2007)
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 201
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Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 12:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The more I think about it the more that I think it was a drill myself.
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Blort
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Post Number: 42
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 1:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"If it was so horrid, why did you try sneaking in? Sounds rather juvenile..."

We weren't sneaking into Bookies, we were sneaking into the building to go to the roof to shoot photography.
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Gistok
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Post Number: 3769
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Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 1:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

OK, sorry then! :-)

That's a different matter altogether.... although your post makes it sound otherwise...
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Blort
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Post Number: 43
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 1:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My bad.

We pretty much just walked in past the guards, they didn't say anything. So we headed to the elevators, we were just about to get in when this guy from Bookies runs out and asks us, of all things "Where are you guys from?". He then made us leave. He seemed kind of pissed at us.
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 2034
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Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 1:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A number of downtown buildings prohibit taking photos. I've been told "no" at the Penobscot Building, the Buhl Building, the Dime Bank Building, and the Book Building, even when going through on a tour. Sometimes the guard relents and allows some limited photo taking. Not sure why some allow and some don't, and while it is frustrating to the casual photographer like me, building management has the right to allow or not allow us to photograph their building. Don't blame the guards! They're just following the rules imposed by their employer.
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Blort
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Username: Blort

Post Number: 44
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Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 1:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Understandable.

The best thing to do is just walk in and snap off a few shots before they tell you to get out. You may have to make a couple trips to get the right shot. When they tell you that you can't take photos, it just intrigues people even more to want to shoot there.

I'm thankful that they allow photos at the Guardian Building. They are really friendly over there.
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Canuckr
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Username: Canuckr

Post Number: 51
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 4:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The book rocks for pixor taking..

Waling up the fire escape is one of the best parts..
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Spiritofdetroit
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Username: Spiritofdetroit

Post Number: 341
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 8:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

no videotaping is allowed at the rencen or guardian. picture taking at the rencen cannot be of "key structural components" from my experiences with the guards

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