The General Motors Renaissance Center (which was actually championed by Henry Ford II and housed some Ford offices for awhile), love it or hate it, is an iconic part of Detroit’s skyline. Announced in 1971, the first office tower opened in 1976. It’s the General Motors RenCen thanks to a purchase in 1996 where they moved from their headquarters in New Center to the Portman-designed structure on the riverfront.
The GM Rencen Facebook page shared these really interesting images from the construction of the Renaissance Center. It’s amazing to see it in parts set against pretty familiar scenery. Many of the new residents to the city have never seen a massive construction project downtown. It has seen some changes since completion, including the activation of the Detroit Riverfront which has been a real asset and turned around what was formerly an industrial strip by the river into something that can be enjoyed by everyone. At the end, we’ve included a picture we took of the RenCen from recent times.