About Lafayette Building
The Lafayette Building was a high-rise office building located at 144 West Lafayette Boulevard in downtown Detroit, Michigan. It was built in 1923 and occupied a triangular lot, bordered by Michigan Avenue, West Lafayette Boulevard, and Shelby Street. The building was 14 floors tall, with one basement floor, and 13 above-ground floors.The office building was designed in the neo-classical architecture style by C. Howard Crane who built many of Detroit's theaters. It is built with mainly brick, limestone, and terra cotta. The building contained 178 feet (54 m) of frontage along Michigan Avenue, 168 feet (51 m) of frontage along Shelby Street, 135 feet (41 m) of frontage along Lafayette Boulevard, and was 85 feet (26 m) in length along its east facade which stood mid-block. After years of mismanagement, and a declining tenant base, the building was finally shuttered in 1997. Two restaurants, Lafayette Coney Island and American Coney Island, both which claim to be the first coney island restaurant in the United States, are located at the foot of the Lafayette Building in attached structures on West Lafayette Boulevard and Michigan Avenue.