Historic Detroit

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

Kresge Administration Building

On May 19, 1930, S.S. Kresge Co. moved into its new home at Temple Avenue and Second Boulevard on Cass Park.

This 250,000-square-foot headquarters was designed by Albert Kahn and commissioned by Sebastian S. Kresge, founder of the S.S. Kresge Co. The company opened its first store in 1898, a simple five-and-dime, and soon grew into a major national retailer.

In 1909, the company’s 42 stores had gross sales of about $5.1 million ($138.6 million today, when adjusted for inflation). By 1929, it had exploded in size to 597 stores and $156.3 million ($2.2 billion) in gross sales. Such growth required far bigger digs than its 18-story Kahn-designed building on Grand Circus Park that had opened just 16 years earlier.

In 1962, Kresge opened its first store with the name Kmart (hence the "K"), and the retailer would formally change its corporate name to Kmart in 1977. Five years earlier, in 1972, Kresge abandoned this building for a new 906,000-square-foot headquarters in suburban Troy, which it in turn left in 2006 after merging with Sears Holding Co.

Over the years, the Art Deco gem would become the Metropolitan Center for High Technology. In 2014, it was rebranded yet again, as The Block at Cass Park, and serves as a research, startup and creative space owned by Wayne State University.