An icon in Detroit's skyline, the Fisher Building was funded by the booming new auto industry of the Roaring 1920s. Opened in 1928, the 441-foot-tall building originally held the headquarters for the Fisher brothers' auto body company, but it was also meant to be a city within a city, with shops, a theater, and other entertainment for the people of the city of Detroit.
The seven Fisher brothers formed the Fisher Body Co in 1908,
and were responsible for creating the closed auto chassis. Just 18 years after
starting their business, General Motors bought them out for $208 million ($2.5
In 1927, they commissioned architect Albert Kahn to spare no expense in
designing a building that would serve as their company headquarters as well as
a center for shopping and entertainment in Detroit. Spending $9 million on its
construction, the 29-story Fisher Building was created almost entirely out of
granite and marble. It was given the nickname The Golden Tower due
to the gold leaf tile that covered the outside (This was removed during WWII to
prevent the building from being a bombing target.)2 Bronze windows
and finishings line the interior, with spectacular mosaics, hand-painted
ceilings, and sculptures throughout.
The bottom three floors held shops as well as the well-known Fisher Theater.
The Theater had an elaborate Mayan Temple theme and could seat 3000 people. The
25th - 27th floors held the Fisher brothers' business suites, where they held
an informal family meeting every day over lunch. 1
The Fisher Building is L-shaped with a single tower to the far right. The
reason for this is that it was originally meant to be part of a sprawling
three-building complex. There was to be another L-shaped building with a third
taller 60-story building in the center of the two. However, the Great
Depression hit just a year after the Fisher Building was opened, and all plans
for the complex were scrapped. 2