Historic Detroit

Every building in Detroit has a story — we're here to share it

Beck Building

Built circa 1905, this turn-of-the century building is best known as A. S. Beck Shoe Store. According to earlier City Directories the building earlier tenants included a studio photographer, clothier, jewelers, and a milliner.

The A. S. Beck Shoe Store was the tenant from 1936 through 1975. In 1936 the building was reclad and given a moderne facade that included stylized neon lettering on the street level and deco lettering at the top of the building. The Detroit store was redesigned to reflect Beck Shoes New York flagship store designed by Vahan Hagopian. The windowless upper facade followed the deco rule of threes and positioned three yellow dots above a recessed rectangular area.

The recessed rectangle held nine rounded pilasters that had yellow capitals. A new facade was erected in 2001.

The Pepper's Shoes Company occupied the building from 1976-1985. In 1991 the building' s fifth floor was removed due to the deterioration of the roof. From 1991-1993, the woman's clothing store Marianne Plus (women's clothing chain) was located in the building. In 1994 the store was connected to the D. J. Healy Building to the north to accommodate their Marianne's Kids clothing line.

The building is occupied by the Shinola store today.

The Beck Building is a contributing building in the Lower Woodward Historic District, which also includes the Kresge Building, the Traver Building, the Fowler Building, the Heyn's Department Store Building, the Bedell Building, the Elliot Building, the Valpey Building, the Frank & Seder Building, the Frank & Seder Co. Building (Albert's), the Woodward Building, the Richman Brothers Co. Store Building, the Grinnell Brothers Music House, the Fisher Arcade, the Himelhoch's Building, the David Whitney Building, the Broderick Tower, the Telenews Theater, the United Foundation Building, the Lane Bryant Building, the A&M Coney Island Building, the Wright-Kay Building, the Kaiser-Blair Building, the Ferguson Building, the D.J. Healy Co. Building, the Singer Building and the Rayl Building.

Last updated 16/04/2023