Detroit Trust Company

201 West Fort Street at Shelby in downtown Detroit's financial district

It is very interesting to compare two major bank buildings that Albert Kahn designed for downtown Detroit within an interval of just seven years—this one and the First National Bank Building on Cadillac Square. When drawing the design for this bank, Kahn was influenced by Classical architecture and by work of other architects, including McKim, Mead and White who designed the nearby State Savings Bank. Kahn used eight massive Corinthian columns and four similarly Corinthian pilasters, emphasizing the Greek roots of this style. I presume that those who own and administer banks want impressive and memorable buildings that clearly convey the bank's tremendous strength, stability, size and permanence. Kahn achieved those goals with his design for this massive building. As you approach this building, you get the impression that you are entering an important, long-enduring institution. The inside conveys the same message as the exterior with its marble walls and falls and attractively decorated ceilings.

In 1926, this building was enlarged with a 100-foot addition on the west side. Forty years later the building was modernized while retaining the features of Kahn's original design.

Architect: Albert Kahn
Date of Completion: 1915
Use in 2003: Bank
Historical registries: So far as I know, this building is not listed on the State of Michigan or federal historical register. It has been designated a landmark by the City of Detroit Historic District Commission.

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