Historic Detroit

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

Union Trust Co. Building

The Union Trust Co. Building was designed by Donaldson & Meier and was completed in May 1896. It was the next-door neighbor to Detroit's first skyscraper, the Hammond Building, and stood on the northeast corner of Griswold and Congress streets. Union Trust was founded in 1891 and quickly became one of the city’s most important financial institutions of the early 20th century. It grew so quickly, in fact, that just 33 years later, it moved into its new, much larger home -- what is now known as the Guardian Building.

The Union Trust’s old home later became the Fidelity Trust Building, and then the Bankers Equitable Building. Along with the Hammond, however, it was torn down for the new National Bank of Detroit headquarters. NBD’s new 14-story building marked the first major commercial construction in downtown Detroit in 25 years. Today, that building is known as The Qube, but is still called Chase Tower by many Detroiters.

The Union Trust Building succumbed to the wrecking ball in January-February 1957. Pieces of its incredible marble lobby were saved, however, and used as grave markers in a Detroit cemetery.