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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2015 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Union Trust: 1906

Union Trust: 1906

1906. "Union Trust Building, Detroit." Romanesque Revival wedding cake at Griswold and Congress that went up in 1896, came down in 1956. View full size.


Not quite Romanesque

I would not call this an example of the Romanesque Revival, a neo-medieval style most often associated with the work of H. H. Richardson. It is clearly an example of the Classical Revival (or Beaux-Arts Classicism), due to its many classical features: the Doric columns at the entry, the rusticated masonry of the bottom two floors, the quoins at the corners of the middle section, and the projecting cornice at the top. In fact, this building looks an awful lot like two early works of the leading Classical firm of the time: McKim, Mead & White's twin buildings for the New York Life Insurance Company in Omaha, Neb. and Kansas City, Mo. (both built 1888-1889, both still standing today).


This building was designed by Donaldson and Meier, who also designed several other Detroit landmarks, including the David Stott building.

When the Union Trust Building merged with the National Bank of Commerce in the 1920's, they left this building for the glorious Guardian Building.

There Ought To Be A Law

All awnings have to be open or closed at the same time. This individuality is aesthetically unacceptable.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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