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Book Tower Updates: Renovation could total $400M

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It will be an iconic restoration

Book Tower stands tall in the middle
Michelle & Chris Gerard

The last time we checked in on the renovation of the Book Tower, we had noticed that the caryatids had been removed and much exterior work was happening. We learned that Bedrock was starting the restoration and repair process to the outside of the building after buying it last summer. Work has continued throughout the summer with not a lot of news to report. Now we have a little more information on that exterior work and how much the whole thing could cost.

Kirk Pinho of Crain’s recently wrote a detailed feature on the many developments along Washington Boulevard, including the Book Tower and adjacent properties. In regards to Book Tower, Pinho reports,

"It will almost certainly be the most expensive of the crop, with development experts saying Gilbert's overall redevelopment of the Book Tower and adjoining Book Building could cost $400 million or more (his Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC said total cost estimates have not yet been determined, but did say that historic tax credits are expected to be part of the financing mix)."

It’s Bedrock’s biggest renovation project, according to the article, and there’s a three-year plan to renovate and restore it, along with the Book Building next to it. The caryatids on the outside of Book Tower have been rusting and deteriorating for a long time, posing a danger to pedestrians. To that, they say,

"So the Book Building caryatids have been removed and will be replaced with fiberglass exact replicas, one of which sits covered by a large drape on the first floor of the Book Tower next to one of the 10 corbels that have been removed, also to be restored and replaced."

Taken this spring
Michelle & Chris Gerard

In the next few years, according to the article, we’ll also see the possible replacement and restoration of the fire escape and the roof. The windows will be evaluated soon.

The inside, they say, is very deteriorated and damaged.

But Bedrock is committed to restoring this iconic building. We look forward to seeing what that means for its future.

Curbed readers have been antsy and excited for this renovation, as you can read in any comment on any story we’ve ever posted about the building. It will be a true landmark renovation, as it stands as one of the most prominent buildings in Detroit’s skyline. What do you hope to see happen with this historic building?

Book Tower

1260 W. Washington Blvd., Detroit, Michigan 48226