not all those who wander are lost

The now vacant and boarded up Book Building and Book Tower.

7 Responses to Abandoned Book Tower

  • I remember a Downtown Detroit bustling with energy, a real city, pedestrians everywhere. The Book Tower was always my favorite, with its long view down Grand River and especially the fine intricate architecture. This building and its abandonment, somehow, symbolizes to me the absolute disaster the incredible decline of this once proud and powerful city has been. If the Detroit collapse had happened in, say, a week, instead of five decades, it would be seen as by far the worst calamity the United States has ever had. Imagine if the World Trade Center had taken fifty years to collapse … who would even notice?
    The Book Tower, this great sentinel of much better days, bears silent witness to this terrible decline.

  • Nothing makes for a better roof then copper, especially when (after about 20 years) it gets better with age till it goes green patina. One can see it for miles away. The Book tower looks especially interesting. The Lee Plaza had such a roof till recently.

    Nowadays, they do modern metal roofs painted green, but they can never look like the real thing. I can always tell a fake copper roof.

  • Oh boy did these pictures bring back memories. My wife worked in the Book Tower from 1974 to 1977, when we left town. Downtown was already dying then, but now . . . !

    Well, now we live in Honolulu. The weather is nicer here and the crime rate is lower — but the architecture ranges from mediocre to “You’ve got to be kidding, right?” Yes, please: take the Book Tower apart, put it on a barge, and ship it somewhere where it’ll be appreciated. It (and Detroit) deserve to be loved.

    And Randy, I’ve posted your comment on my blog. Thanks!

  • A bidding war, I love it!

  • Paul, we’ed rather have them here in Kitchener, ON!

  • Incredible building. What are the odds it will survive in the long term?

    I wish some developer could move some of these abandoned buildings to Calgary to give our skyline some great architecture.

  • How long will it last? Before its destroyed from the inside out.


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