Detroit News Building
The Detroit News Building was designed by Wirt Rowland while he worked for Albert Kahn Associates. His goal was to design an aesthetically pleasing building, while maximizing the efficient production of the Detroit News, a fast-growing newspaper of the time. The building opened in 1917. The layout of the building was determined by three requirements of newspaper production of the day. First, the 200-foot-long printing presses had to be located in a large open area on the ground floor. Second, the departments of the company had to be located such that efficient flow through the company was achieved. Third, expansive windows had to be given to the appropriate departments to allow daylight into their work areas, given the poor artificial lighting of the time. As a result, the entire first floor contained the press room and shipping department from which the newspapers were loaded onto trucks for distribution. The second floor was smaller than the ground floor, allowing skylights into the first floor and more exterior windows into the second floor, and held the offices that the public might need to visit, such as advertising, circulation, editorial and business offices. The third floor held the composing room where articles were edited, print was engraved, and everything was proofread, all of which required extensive daylight, before going down to the ground level for printing.
The address of the building is 615 West Lafayette, and its front entrance is shown in the 1st photo below. The embossed words along the top of the building read
The 2nd Avenue side has the most numerous lighting fixtures, and they're shown in the 1st photo below. Those same simpler round lights are used on the Fort Street side, shown in the 2nd photo below. That same photo holds embossed words along the top of the building, which read
To the left of the Fort Street facade of the building is the shipping department, as shown in part in the 1st photo below. The Fort Street side is the back of the building, with a simpler facade than the Lafayette side, and containing the shipping bays which face the higher-volume Fort Street which better accomodated the arriving and departing trucks. A view of the entire Fort Street side, and the 2nd Avenue side of the building is shown from diagonally across the intersection in the 2nd photo below.
The Detroit New remained in the building until 2014, though it moved its printing facilites to a much larger suburban building in 1967. In 1989, the Detroit News and its competing newspaper, the Detroit Free Press, entered into a joint operating agreement in their shrinking market, and in 1998, the Detroit Free Press moved their staff into the building. In October of 2014, though, neither needed the overhead and cost of the building any more and moved to new office space. The building was bought by Bedrock Real Estate and remodeled into a modern workspace in 2017.