“Detroit's largest art object”
"Detroit's largest art object," "A Cathedral to Commerce," and "The Fisher Brother's gift to the city of the Detroit" are phrases that have been used to describe the Fisher Building. Perhaps it is best described as a luxurious building that represents the multi-faceted influence of automobiles. The seven Fisher brothers, who made year-round automobile travel possible through the development and mass production of the enclosed auto body, prospered along with the rest of Detroit's booming auto industry. In the late 1920s, the Fishers hired master architect Albert Kahn to design a building as both a philanthropic and commercial investment. The Fisher brothers wanted to spare no expense, and Kahn designed a $9 million Art Deco masterpiece that lavished 1/4 of its expense on art work and luxury materials. Reflecting the wealth of its owners, the completed Fisher Building accommodated the needs of the automobile owner by "enabling its patrons to leave their cars, attend to all shopping needs . . . visit their doctor, dentist, banker or broker, attend the Fisher Theater, and return to their cars without having to leave the building." Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989, the Fisher Building features a 28-story set-back Art Deco tower. The interior is bisected by a 44 foot high barrel-vaulted arcade and every inch is opulently decorated with bronze, gold leaf, and over forty types of exotic marbles mined in quarries in Africa, Italy, and Carthage, Missouri. Sold to a real-estate firm in 1974 by the three remaining Fisher Brothers, the Fisher Building continues to be a meticulously maintained and fully occupied Art Deco jewel, a symbol of the change and prosperity the automobile brought to Detroit.
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