Here are some images of the recently-renovated former Detroit News building. The structure was designed by Albert Kahn and opened in in the 19-teens. It is located at 615 West Lafayette. The building now houses office space, including offices for about 1,100 Quicken Loans employees and 375 Molina Healthcare workers. All images are from the Detroit Free Press website article
, image credit Ryan Garza.
Image: Exterior view
Image: Main lobby
Image: Interior lobby
Image: Quicken Loans office space
Image: Former Detroit News library area
Image: Stacks at the former Detroit News library area
Image: Window detail
Image: Restroom with old newspaper-inspired wallpaper
Image: Common area / corridor
Image: A track from the former printing operations and new lights with a newspaper-theme
Image: A track from the former printing operations, with ‘front-page headlines’ detail
Image: Entry area into office area
Historic flair kept in remodeled Detroit News building
By Matt Helms, Detroit Free Press
March 30, 2017
The old wooden Detroit News library shelves are still there, along with original leaded glass windows. But the third floor of the newspaper's newsroom along with the two floors below that once housed the Detroit Free Press are all but unrecognizable, transformed into wide-open office space where employees of Quicken Loans and Molina Healthcare now work in a historic building on downtown Detroit's western edge.
The transformation of the Albert Kahn design began about two years ago after the city's two newspapers, which had shared the building since 1998, moved into renovated space at the old Federal Reserve Building several blocks east. The newspapers sold the old building to Dan Gilbert's organization, which has remodeled the space with its storied history in mind.
That includes the wooden walls in the News' fourth-floor library and editor's office and the half-circle shaped windows that made so distinctive the second-floor offices of the Free Press – where sports, features and the opinion pages were housed. Most of the walls in those offices are gone, replaced with the open floor plan with exposed beams and support columns painted variously in white and red.
The main lobby to the building marks a return to its original appearance. Gilbert's Bedrock Detroit used historical pictures to take out several layers of old renovations to restore it close to its original appearance, with stone walls, tall plaster ceilings and a hollow metal globe encasing a light that shines from the center of the ceiling.
"We protected all the real finite features that were still intact," John Olszewski, Bedrock's vice president of construction, said during a tour of the building Thursday.
"We want to preserve this history as much as we can," added Bedrock project manager Brett Yuhasz, who was deeply involved in the restoration of the building. "It's definitely a passion for us."
Bedrock is still figuring out how to best fill some of the smaller office spaces in the building. Some have become lounges for employees. Each floor has an expansive employee break room, in addition to a larger, self-serve cafeteria space where the newspapers once had a full cafeteria for employees.
A wood-fired pizza oven recently was seen being taken into what appears to be a cafeteria in the former private garage for newspaper executives and top editors, but Quicken declined to discuss additional details of what the space will become.
The nods to newspaper history come through even in modernized spaces. Kitchen break rooms have lamps with acrylic pendants featuring old newspaper ads. And a track lighting system was designed to mimic a printing press, with squares featuring old newspaper pages and front pages from the 1830s-era Detroit Gazette. Even some of the original painted wall markings pointing visitors to the old News editorial offices have been preserved.
An employee restroom follows the design, with imitation yellowed newspaper ads as wallpaper. Around the mirrors above hand-washing sinks is imported Italian tile with white, red, black and gray dots that call to mind the halftone dots of old newspaper photos and pop art.
Quicken Loans is nearing 1,100 workers in the building, which also houses multiple conference rooms and training facilities for its workers. Molina Healthcare of Michigan soon will have about 375 employees at the site.
You can link to the full article here