Historic Detroit

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

Lane Bryant Building

This six-story, art moderne-style, brick building was largely reconstructed in 1946 (permit 27472) by Bryant and Detwiler, contractors, at an approximate cost of $250,000. Lane Bryant, a large-size women's clothing chain, had purchased the building, referred to then as the Woodward Arcade, in the preceding year. The architect of this major remodeling, Charles Agree, specialized in moderne-style retail stores, and he designed many Winkelman's and Federal stores as well as supermarkets in the Detroit area.

The first floor of the building refaced for Lane Bryant is clad with gray granite, and two plate glass windows are positioned on either side of the central entrance. The upper portion of the building is faced with limestone and is composed into three bays of windows, the central of which contains a strip of six panes. The two side bays have a double window in each, and above each is a rectangular indentation containing three engaged column forms, contributing to the art moderne styling of this building.

Lane Bryant began in Detroit in 1916 in the Washington Arcade Building, and moved to 1452 Farmer Street in 1922. In1945, the company operated 22 stores throughout the country, had 3,600 employees, and an annual retail business of $35,000,000. The name of the store changed to Smart Size, a division of Lane Bryant Inc., the same type of clothing store, until it closed in the early 80's.

Kraemer Design Group turned a this vacant former department store into modern office and retail space in 2013.

The Lane Bryant 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 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 16/04/2023