At 96 years old, the history of the Lane Bryant Building will be forever connected to plus-sized women's clothing. Yes, it's named for that Lane Bryant, the national chain that exists today. Back in 1945, the Lane Bryant company dropped $250,000 to modernize this little mid-rise, replacing the original facade with the sleek stylings you see today. As the chain's flagship store in Metro Detroit, it would remain a plus-sized clothing store for roughly 40 years.
The building's design comes from Detroit-based architect Charles Agree, whose work includes Midtown's Belcrest Apartments and the the ghostly Whittier Hotel on the riverfront. Vacant since the early '80s, the Lane Bryant needed to be completely gutted when Dan Gilbert bought it in 2011. Kraemer Design Group worked to restore the limestone exterior, teaming up with dPOP! for the lobby and restrooms. From the plumbing to the elevators, the mechanicals were completely rebuilt. Last summer saw mobile app developer Detroit Labs move into the top two floors.
The first four floors, however, are the ones worth watching. They're currently awaiting new tenants to build them out, offering the chance at a completely customizable space.
· Dan Gilbert Buys Three More Buildings on Woodward Ave [Curbed Detroit]
· 1520 Woodward [Bedrock]