Historic Detroit

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

Detroit Public Library - Photos

The exterior facade facing Woodward Avenue

Photo of the exterior with the Fisher Building in the distance

Looking up into the second-floor loggia from just outside, one can see ceiling mosaics based on Shakespeare's "Seven Ages of Man" soliloquy from "as you like it".

Detail of the East side stairs with the DIA in the background

Detroit Public Library staircase

North facade

The third-floor hallway ceiling of the Detroit Public Library

The fireplace in the children's reading room

Looking up the East side facade

The exhibition room of the main branch of the Detroit Public Library

The exhibition room

The main staircase of the Detroit Public Library

The Burton Historical Collection inside the main branch of the Detroit Public Library

The original children's reading room

The fireplace of the original children's reading room is adorned with some of the city's most cherished Pewabic tiles illustrating storybook characters.

The backside of the building in early December

Backside of the building facing Cass Avenue

A view at the second floor loggia window on the north end of the Woodward Ave. facade.

A detail shot of a second floor loggia window

A building design competition was held in 1910. From a selection of twenty contenders, the Library Commission selected Cass Gilbert, the foremost architect of his time and the designer of the much-admired St. Louis Public Library. Construction began in 2015 and the library opened on March 29, 1921.