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Consumers Energy's Corporate Headquarters (U.S. Post Office)

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U.S. Post Office
1932–1933, Claire Allen with Russell Allen; 2001–2003 rehabilitation and corporate headquarters, SmithGroup. 1 Energy Plaza at Michigan Ave. and Francis St.

The historic post office serves as the focal point and grand entrance of Consumers Energy Corporation's new headquarters. In cooperation with the City of Jackson and the State of Michigan, Consumers Energy transformed a blighted downtown block into an urban campus comprising the corporate headquarters for Consumers Energy and CMS Energy, a public amphitheater, river promenade, sculpture garden, parking deck, and green space along the Grand River Trail. The project employed tax credits for cleanup and reuse of a brownfield site.

The wedge-shaped modernistic former post office conforms to its triangular-shaped site and the west-facing concave primary facade overlooked a fountain. The concrete- and steel-framed building is clad in smooth-cut Indiana limestone above a base of granite and the entrance portico is defined by six Roman Doric columns. The headquarters is a new twelve-story, 370,000-square-foot tower.

Allen and Sons of Jackson won a national competition to design the post office. Work was executed under the supervision of James Wetmore, Supervising Architect of the U.S. Treasury. Allen's involvement resulted from the provisions of the Keyes-Elliott Bill, an amendment to the Public Buildings Act of 1926, that increased the authority of the secretary of the Treasury Department to enter into contracts with private architects for professional services.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Kathryn Bishop Eckert

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