Renaissance Center (Detroit, MI) : General view, looking east

Creator:
Portman, John, 1924-
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1939-
Published/Created:
Detroit, Michigan, United States
1973-1981 ; 2003-2006 (alteration)
Date Depicted:
8/15/1980
1950 AD - 2010 AD
Materials:
glass
steel
Notes:
To understand the Renaissance Center, you have to understand the basic situation of Detroit when we started the project.  The first time I went, at the request of Mr. Ford, I stayed at the Pontchartrain Hotel.  I got out of a taxi, and as I was checking in I was told to not walk on the streets.  If I left the hotel, I had to take a taxi to go to a restaurant and when I came out of the restaurant I had to take a taxi back.  This was the circumstance in which we found ourselves."  --  John Portman, quoted in Diamondstein, 1985, p. 217. "I've been criticized for turning my back on the city and building these great interior spaces, or building a plastic environment so that people don't have to go out to the streets.  That criticism is beyond belief.  It's like saying you shouldn't build these great spaces in a city even of the people enjoy it ... a city is a great and glorious thing.  A city can stand great interior spaces as well as great exterior spaces;  it's an orchestration of all kinds of environments that adds variety and interest and excitement to a city."  John Portman, quoted in Mullen, 1985, p. 180.
Variant Titles:
GM Renaissance Center
Topics:
Architecture -- United States -- 20th century -- (YVRC)
Period/Style:
Brutalist
Modern
Modernist
Culture:
American
Accession Number:
1A1-PJ-RC-A3
Genre:
architecture (AAT)
office buildings (AAT)
public accommodations: hotels (AAT)
Format:
Image
Content Type:
Sculptures, Models, & Architecture
Rights:
Copyright Scott Gilchrist, Archivision, Inc
The use of this image may be subject to the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) or to site license or other rights management terms and conditions. The person using the image is liable for any infringement.
Access Restrictions:
Yale Community Only
Digital:
architectural exteriors; business, commerce and trade; cityscapes; contemporary (1960 to present); City planning; urban renewal construction complexes; mixed-use developments
Source Creator:
Gilchrist, Scott
Source Title:
Archivision Module Two
Source Created:
2878 Chamonix, Montreal QC
Archivision, Inc.
8/15/1980
Source Note:
Purchase, Visual Resources Collection, May, 2011; photographer Scott Gilchrist
Yale Collection:
Visual Resources Collection
Digital Collection:
Visual Resources Collection
Local Record Number:
4152
OID:
10166370
PID:
digcoll:1843965