Cass Tech is sited on a small lot on Cass Park, a formally landscaped city square surrounded by such substantial buildings as the Masonic Temple ( WN52), the former Kresge Administration Building (1927, Albert Kahn), and the Collegiate Gothic former Cass Technical School at 2421 2nd Avenue by Malcomson and Higginbotham (1917; demolition underway in 2010). Compatible in size with its neighbors, the simple steel and glass school encloses athletic, public, academic, and performance spaces.
Precast panels that resemble brick clad the exterior. Large expanses of glass tinted to reduce solar gain and conserve energy lighten the appearance and the interior spaces. These exterior materials are intended to express Detroit's industrial past and the school's forward-thinking curriculum. From the outset Cass Tech had a reputation for academic excellence, particularly in the arts. Among its graduates are automobile engineer and executive John DeLorean, singer Diana Ross, and comedian Lily Tomlin.