Security Trust Company Building

735 Griswold

This is, unfortunately, not one of the most beautiful buildings in the Detroit Financial Historic District.  I believe that the Security Trust Company was a bank founded in 1906.  Two years later they moved into a structure at the corner of Griswold and Fort but, so far as I know, I have never seen pictures of that structure.  The vehicle industry brought great prosperity to Detroit so, I assume, this bank prospered.  By the early 1920s, they had the resources to erect a bank that would convey a message about their financial status and probity.  Not surprisingly, they turned to Detroit’s most famous and productive architect of that era – Albert Kahn.
I presume that he desired to express the bank’s security so he used a classical them. Indeed, at this time, many of the large bank tried to emphasize their safety and good judgment by constructing buildings that looked much like government buildings with Greek and Roman themes. Notice the three large arches at the front with the prominent entry way in the middle arch on Griswold.  There are impressive columns with their carvings.  For the most part, what you see in this structure is limestone attached to a steel frame.
The least attractive feature is the addition that was added to the roof of this fine building.  The gable at the top was removed about 1963, and a two story flat roof addition was placed on the building.  This is covered with concrete panels that may not fit very well with the classical façade that faces Griswold.
I presume that the Security Trust Company went to its grave in March, 1933 when all Michigan banks were closed by Governor Comstock.  I do not know what use was made of this building thereafter.  In 2010, it stands along Griswold awaiting a new use.

Architect: Albert Kahn
Architectural style: Classical
Date of completion: 1925
Addition at the parapet line: 1964
Use in 2010:  Vacant building awaiting redevelopment
City of Detroit Designated Historic District: Not listed
State of Michigan Registry of Historic Sites: Not listed
National Register of Historic Places:  This building is within the National Register
Detroit Financial Historic District
Photograph:  Ren Farley  September 30, 2010
Description prepared: October, 2010

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