Building: Globe Tobacco Building
Facts: In 1871, O. P. Hazard, Thomas McGraw, Hiram Walker, and William Moore founded the Globe Tobacco Company. The city actually relied heavily on tobacco in the late 19th century—at one point, it was Detroit's largest industry. As one of the city's top five producers, Globe needed larger quarters and began construction on the Fort Street building in 1888, and was the first tobacco plant in the US to operate its presses with electricity. The Globe Tobacco company operated out of the building for nearly 40 years before going under in 1925.
Style: The Globe Building was constructed in the Romanesque mill style. Considered a fairly massive structure at the time, the building needed masonry walls and extremely solid floors to bear the weight of millions of pounds of tobacco and of the heavy machinery used to process it. In the 1880s, this meant that heavy timbers and an internal post-and-beam construction were used to build the floors and walls.
Builder: Alexander Chopoton, descendent of one of Detroit's oldest French families, built the structure. Chopoton's family home, a Queen Anne row house, still stands in at 511 Beaubien. In addition to the Globe, Chopoton also built the Michigan State Capitol.
Recent events: in 2014, Dan Gilbert purchased the Globe from the Gus Vincent Trust for $3.3 million. The building underwent extensive renovations and is currently used by tech companies, and by Detroit Orthodontic Specialists, the first orthodontics practice in the city to offer Invisalign.
When Curbed reader Mike Lanzetta nominated the Globe, he told us "this fabulous building is alive and beautiful." We want to thank our readers for all of their great suggestions, and encourage you to send more Iconic ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
·Gilbert buys former Globe Tobacco Co. building for $3.3 million [Crain's Detroit Business]
·407 E. Fort Street [Bedrock Real Estate Services]
·Detroit Orthodontic Specialists [Detroit Orthodontic Specialists]