Historic Detroit

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

Fisher Arcade

The Fisher Arcade was originally designed by Albert Kahn in 1912 as a speculative commercial retail building for the Maxwell Fisher estate, and named the Fisher Arcade. This eight-story building was constructed using a combination of reinforced concrete with structural steel interior and front wall columns. The structure is composed in three bays of windows, arranged in Chicago style strips of three large windows with a transom window above each. The eighth floor windows culminate in a segmental arch.

The building is faced with white terra cotta, which emphasizes its verticality. The denticulated cornice is embellished with copper detailing, and a white terra cotta cap to each pier rests above the cornice. In 1913, decorative tiles from Detroit's Pewabic Pottery were commissioned to adorn the exterior entranceway.

Photos from 1917 depict a large sign for Dittrich Furs on the building. The 1931 National Lithograph Co. map portrayed the tenants as Tuttle & Clark, who painted over the Fisher Arcade sign and installed a large vertical marquee sign. Tuttle & Clark were manufacturers and retailers of auto apparel and accessories, leather goods, trunks, bags and furs.

In 1948, the building was purchased by the Sanders Miller Corp., Detroit's unrivaled baked goods and candies manufacturer. The Sanders Company hired Pollmar, Ropes and Lundy to create a new storefront and interior. Opening day ads in the Detroit Free Press called it "A New Detroit Showplace," where three floors of "good-things-to-eat" included candies, baked goods, ice creams and a large luncheon counter on the second floor that sat 140 people. Escalators were added to transport people to the fountain and lunch rooms on the second story and basement.

Also in 1948, the five upper floors were leased to the Grinnell Bros., who also occupied the building next door to the south. In 1963 the Grinnell Brothers purchased the Fisher Arcade Building and expanded their store to entirely occupy the Fisher Arcade Building.

In 1965 the building was converted from a restaurant to a retail store. From 1967 through the mid 1980's Bond Clothes was the first floor tenant.

Bedrock acquired two historic buildings along the Detroit Lower Woodward Corridor in 2016, the Sanders building being one of them.

Today, H&M clothing store occupies the first floor.

The Fisher Arcade 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 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 Beck Building, the Singer Building and the Rayl Building.

Last updated 17/03/2023