Detroit Cornice & Slate
Designed by Harry J. Rill in 1897 for the Detroit Cornice and Slate Company, this building features a finely crafted facade of galvanized steel. The use of sheet metal in commercial buildings evolved from the cast iron structures built in New York in the 1850s, Metal permitted elegant ornamentation to be rendered quickly and cheaply. It was also convenient when, as in Detroit, there was a lack of stone quarries and skilled workers. The Detroit Cornice and Slate Company fashioned many of the building's simulated carvings and tympaniums in its shops here. Occupied by the company until 1972, the structure's exterior was then restored and its interior was renovated for office and commercial use.