Historic Detroit

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

U.S. Mortgage Bond Building

Steel-frame, nine-story office building faced in limestone and brick. The U. S. Mortgage Bond Building is located at the northwest corner of West Congress and Shelby Streets. It is rectangular in plan, and is adjacent to the building to the west at 220 West Congress, as well as the building at 625 Shelby Street to the north.

Faced on the street facades in grey Indiana limestone, the building takes after Italian palazzos in form but seems to mix Neoclassical and Renaissance Revival design elements. Resting on a base of grey granite, the lower stories are faced in grey Indiana limestone set in broad courses with the horizontal joints deeply sunk. The tall arched windows of the first and second floor are set in the original metal frames.

A classical cornice of limestone separates the three-story lower section from the smooth-finished limestone upper façade. On each façade the central windows are paired, with a single window on each end bay. The windows have all been replaced with aluminum frame windows.

The original modillioned and dentiled cornice remains in place. Sometime in the middle of the 20th century a pedestrian bridge was built at the second floor level connecting the building to the State Savings Bank across Shelby Street.