09 Aug 2011

The Book Tower

The Book Tower is not named for books, but the builder, Mr. Book.  It is right in the heart of downtown Detroit and a fine example of some the magnificent architecture Detroit has to offer.   When first constructed the plan was to have a mirror building across the street, but the money ran out so it stands alone. And FYI, last picture is very slightly NSFW, if you have a puritanical boss.

The first shot is a throw away but I am including just so you get some idea of how massive this building is:

Wide angle lens equals falling down building look.

This is when you break out the zoom and go for the details.

Over 30 stories up, and one hell of a fire escape.  I’d love to live in a place like this and feel like I own the world.  If only it weren’t Detroit.

As an added bonus the building is decorated in naked ladies that are almost not noticeable from street level.

Comments

  • lifewith4cats
    August 10, 2011 Reply

    Ive not seen naked lady statues on a building before. Interesting.

  • idiotphotographer
    August 12, 2011 Reply

    They are a little more common than one would think, usually just located at a level not easily noticeable from the street. I’ve seen a few around Chicago too, just not life sized.

  • elmediat
    August 12, 2011 Reply

    Well done. Great use of perspective.

  • Patti Kuche
    August 14, 2011 Reply

    I so want to spend time in Detroit before it is pulled down completely . . . I understood it was becoming a magnet for disaffected artists from the more expensive parts of the US. Have you ever spent time in downtown LA?

  • idiotphotographer
    August 14, 2011 Reply

    I’ve never been to LA, I’ve considered going but I have a mild phobia of large crowds, which making living and working in Chicago slightly hilarious. This is why most of my Chicago photos are at night, or in areas of low traffic.

    Detroit is really a beautiful city, it is falling apart and I’m not sure how much longer it can exist, even with the recent influx of people it has. Most everyone is moving to the suburbs because city taxes are so incredibly high due to the fact that non one really lives in the city anymore.

  • nadbugs
    August 19, 2011 Reply

    Wonderful, wonderful pix of a wonderful place. Poor Detroit. I actually love the place, having grown up there — well familiar with the naked ladies. Quite a strange experience, actually — the street-level sadness, in cognitive dissonance with the glories of the past up in the air. Thanks for the memories — and the wonderful images.

  • idiotphotographer
    August 19, 2011 Reply

    You are quite welcome! I love Detroit and visit every chance I get. There isn’t much there unless you’re into urban exploring and oddball markets but I retain the hope that one day the can be revitalized or rescued in some way. At the very least that some of those monumental buildings survive, like the old train depot.

  • Haley Smith
    December 4, 2013 Reply

    Does anyone know if they can climb the fire escape to the roof, i would love to photograph from up there. It is one of the places in Detroit I feel has a view that is breath taking that no one sees.

    • idiotphotographer
      December 4, 2013 Reply

      It is not an accessible building, though if you can figure out who the current owner is you might be able to pull off getting permission.

Leave a Comment