As you've probably heard by now, Fifth Third Bank is moving its regional headquarters from Southfield to downtown Detroit. The company scored four floors at One Woodward Avenue—a Dan Gilbert-owned gem of modernist architecture—as well as permission to erect a gigantic FIFTH THIRD BANK sign on the roof. While Detroit's skyline isn't exactly over-burdened with corporate logos, the sign goes against the original wishes of the building's late architect Minoru Yamsaki, who later went on to design the World Trade Center.
According to the Free Press, Yamasaki fought hard to convince MichCon Gas Company, the building's original backer, to keep the facade free from such "distracting" signage. This isn't the first Gilbert alteration of a Yamasaki design. His renovation of the Federal Reserve building involved shrinking and reconfiguring an outdoor garden intentionally installed by Yamasaki as an oasis for those working inside.
· Signage atop skyscrapers sparks debate [Freep]