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Heritage Tower (Old Merchants National Bank and Trust Company Tower, Comerica Tower)

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Old Merchants National Bank and Trust Company Tower, Comerica Tower
1930–1931, Weary and Alford. 25 W. Michigan Ave.

The nineteen-story, 239-foot-high bank tower was designed by Weary and Alford of Chicago, specialists in bank design. Of structural steel and reinforced-concrete construction, the Bedford limestone–faced building has a broad-fronted, four-story base topped by a blocky, stepped tower reminiscent of Eliel Saarinen's rejected Chicago Tribune Tower competition entry of 1922. In the tower, panels of low-relief wheat and sunflower forms, a Weary and Alford trademark, line up with the vertical window bands and further accentuate the verticality of the tower. Inside, on the second floor, the large vaulted and domed banking room is one of Battle Creek's grandest public spaces. Its travertine walls and floors, grilles and rails of gray iron and white metal alloys, and ceiling and mural decorations designed by Alexander Rindskopf of Chicago in peach, turquoise, and gold lend a sense of soaring elegance to the room.

Nearby at 70 W. Michigan Avenue is the Art Deco Battle Creek Tower (Central National Bank and Tower, 1930–1931) by Holabird and Root.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Kathryn Bishop Eckert

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