all who wander are not lost

The unvieled “SANDERS” signage in the Louis Comfort Tiffany mosaic in the Sanders building.

Here are the buildings being discussed, the Sanders is the shorter structure on the right, the Donovan is the taller limestone structure on the left. Both were transformed into Motown World Headquarters in 1968. They were joined on every level, and both served as studio, mixing, mastering, and office facilities.

Sanders was being prepped for restoration, but the owner backed out. The decision to demolish came very recently, and attention turned to salvaging the priceless Tiffany glass mosaics that adorn the facade of Sanders.

The big guy on the left is the man responsible for saving the Tiffany mosaics for the Detroit Institute of Art. He is also working on most of the Merchants Row facades, as well as many of the Brush Park developments. He had to clear a colony of 20 squatters from Sanders before he could start work inside. The squatters attempted a barracade on the stairwell to fotify their position. DPD were brought in to sweep the building finally. After that, rear egress to both buildings was bolted, and then welded shut with steel banding.

Inside Sanders we see a large intact portion of the Tiffany mosaic. Most parts are coming intact, but the actual title portion of the mosaic is studded with lightbulb sockets, so that is coming out in little chunks.

Heres a portion of original lobby tile on the interior.

The restaurant area and balcony are all but melted into disgusting goo. Nearly undistinguishable.

And now some details of this incredibly gorgeous mosaic work – Deco lotus patterns. Just stunning.

4 Responses to Louis Comfort Tiffany

  • yeah my shot of the lobby was pretty much the same thing…”ewww.”

    i remember the first time i saw a glimpse of that mosaic underneath the retarded aluminum facade crud…to see the whole thing exposed now is something ive waited for fer quite awhile!!

  • Congratulations on salvaging something for everyone to enjoy. I wish they could have saved some items from Detroit’s other gems. Gotta start somewhere though.

  • Something is going on at the United Artist Building. There is a fence up around it and workers were arriving this morning.
    Do you know if they are getting ready to tear it down?

  • Gorgeous mosaics… Thank god someone is making the effort to preseve them. It’s such a shame that so many other beautiful pieces of architecture are not being saved.

    My grandmother worked for Sander’s for most of her life, I wonder if she ever worked in that building? Unfortunately, she is not around to ask…