The Lawyers Building, photo taken 1982
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Lawyers Building
137 Cadillac Square, Detroit - Wayne County
Other Names American Title Building
Property Type skyscraper
Historic Use COMMERCE/TRADE
Current Use COMMERCE/TRADE
Style Skyscraper
Architect/Builder Otto Misch Company
Significant Person John J. Barlum
Narrative Description The Lawyers Building is located in an area of highrise, 1920s office buildings and smaller turn-of-the-century commercial buildings. The Chicago style structure is a ten-story, reinforced-concrete and steel, glazed-terra-cotta-clad, flat roofed structure with regular bays of grouped, wood casement windows with metal spandrel panels. The only alteration to the exterior is the modern-style Metropolitan Savings Bank glass, steel and polished granite storefront.
Statement of Significance The Lawyers Building is significant as the finest unaltered Chicago Style highrise office building in Detroit. It is notable as one of the few office buildings to reject a heavy overlay of historically derived ornamentation and strive for modernism. The Lawyers Building is historically relevant as the first building erected in the Barlum family's attempt to rebuild the Cadillac Square area. Catering primarily to middle class level tenants, many of the spaces were rented to unions and benevolent organizations. One of these unions, the A.F.L's Waiter and Waitress Union, went on strike against the Barlum Hotel while renting space in their office building.
Period of Significance 1901-1930
Significant Date(s) 1922
Registry Type(s) 04/22/1982 National Register listed
Site ID# P25158