Detroit Cornice and Slate Company, photo submitted 1974.
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Detroit Cornice and Slate Company Building
733St. Antoine, Detroit - Wayne County
Other Names Detroit Cornice & Slate Building-Local
Property Type office building
Historic Use COMMERCE/TRADE/business
Style Beaux Arts
Architect/Builder Harry J. Rill
Narrative Description The Detroit Cornice and Slate Building is a three-story, brick-walled, Beaux-Arts building with a galvanized steel facade. Pressed and hand hammered, the steel facade is painted to resemble stone. The entrance facade is divided into three bays by decorative pilasters topped by stylized flame corbels supporting an elaborate entablature. Each level of the building features a different pattern of decoration. The first floor is topped by a denticulated frieze, the second floor features a frieze with garlands and swags, and the third floor is decorated with elaborate arched lintels.
Statement of Significance The Detroit Cornice and Slate Building is a rare and well preserved example of galvanized steel and brick construction. Detroiters Frank A. Hesse and James L. Creswell founded Detroit Cornice and Slate circa 1888 and commissioned the design of this building by Harry J. Rill in 1897. The building housed the slate and metal fabrication business until architects William Kessler and Associates converted the structure into office space in 1974. Recently expanded, the building now houses the Metro Times newspaper and Flood's Bar and Grill.
Marker Name Detroit Cornice and Slate Building
Marker Text DETROIT CORNICE AND SLATE BUILDING Designed by Harry J. Rill in 1897 for the Detroit Cornice and Slate Company, this building features a finely crafted facade of galvanized steel. The use of sheet metal in commercial buildings evolved from the cast iron structures built in New York in the 1850s. Metal permitted elegant ornamentation to be rendered quickly and cheaply. It was also convenient when, as in Detroit, there was a lack of stone quarries and skilled workers. The Detroit Cornice and Slate Company fashioned many of the building's simulated carvings on the friezes and tympanums in its shop here. Occupied by the company until 1972, the structure's exterior was then restored and its interior was renovated for office and commercial use.
Period of Significance 1897-1972
Significant Date(s) 1897
Registry Type(s) 06/10/1975 Marker erected
12/16/1974 National Register listed
01/21/1974 State Register listed
Site ID# P4475