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Federal Reserve Building: New Plaza and an Alleyway Fireplace

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Architecture firm ROSSETTI called dibs on the Federal Reserve Building's fourth floor a long time ago, so Bedrock's recent press release announcing that arrangement is nothing new. Fortunately, the press release included some renderings unseen up until now. But they're outdated. Let us explain: These renderings show ROSSETTI's original plan, which involved freeing up the Fed's front plaza by removing most of its planters. Naturally, that caught the attention of the Detroit Historic District Commission, which didn't want to see the Minoru Yamasaki-designed plaza disappear in the name of patio furniture. The DHC demanded a redesign, the results of which aren't shown in the renderings. Let's point out the disparities and wonder why the adjacent alleyway has its own fireplace.

? Main Entry
The main entrance will lose the bulletproof airlock installed after 9-11. A revolving door will take its place—definitely a big improvement. Previously opaque, the top half of the ground floor's windows have been opened up. What's wrong: This rendering is missing a garden that ROSSETTI has since decided to partially preserve. It's located where the two closest tables are, next to the giant skylight. The dark areas on the ground were originally meant to be a tribute to the plaza's original design, but that idea was dropped.

? Skylight
Huge new entrance on the old portion of the building, which will be retail. What's wrong: ROSSETTI's original design wanted to bring light to the building's basement area by filling in the largest planter with a skylight. The HDC rejected the giant skylight, but a smaller version was approved under the condition it be hidden by surrounding grasses.

? Alley
This appears to be this alley between the Fed and the Financial District Parking Garage, owned by Bedrock. They've added windows to the bridge, as well as metal mesh to the garage's facade so that ivy can take hold. Very cool ideas, but what is that tiny fireplace on the right? A means by which to keep warm in the alley?
· Bedrock Cleared to Alter Federal Reserve Building's Yamasaki-Designed Plaza [Curbed Detroit]
· Official Press Release [PR Newswire]

Federal Reserve Building

160 W. Fort St. , Detroit , MI 48226