Graybar Electric Company/
Board of Education Department of Audio Visual Services Building/
Lofts at 55 West Canfield

55 West Canfield between Woodward and Detroit’s rapidly reviving Cass Corridor

The Graybar Building will soon be added to the list of Detroit industrial buildings that were converted into lofts or condos for the growing population living close to the city’s center. The Graybar firm was founded in 1869 and became a major firm selling electrical and telecommunications equipment. I believe they played a key role in developing telephone systems. Apparently, they built warehouses and distribution centers in many large cities. The one you see in this picture was constructed in Detroit in 1926.

At some point, Graybar moved their metropolitan Detroit operations to, I believe, Southfield. For some years, the Detroit School Board used this building for their audio visual services. Then in January, 2005, the Detroit Investment Fund announced they would invest in this National Register building, converting it into 30 lofts that will be sold, commercial space totaling 4,200 square feet on the Canfield street level and parking for 51 vehicles.

Architect: C. F. Haglin and Sons
Architectural style: Unremarkable
Date of Construction: 1926
Use in 2005: Building formerly used by the Detroit School Board; now undergoing refurbishing for use as lofts or condos
Website for Graybar Electric:
Website for developer of lofts:
City of Detroit Local Historic District: Not listed
State of Michigan Registry of Historic Places
National Registry of Historic Sites; #97001096 Listed September 22, 1997

The Graybar Building is within the Cass Farms Multiple Properties Context

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