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Guardian Building picture in Detroit
Angelo Mercado / Flickr

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  • Sightseeing, Tours Type
  • Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
3.9
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  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    3.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

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Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989, the art deco Guardian Building is a must-see for architecture buffs. Known as Detroit's Cathedral of Finance, the Guardian Building was completed in 1929 for the Union Trust Co. The exterior of this 40-story steel-framed building may not look like much, but once you pass through its interior, you'll understand why the building remains one of Detroit's most palatial skyscrapers.

Among the interior's standout features: a 150-foot-long main lobby with a three-story vaulted ceiling, giant columns composed of Travertine marble imported from Italy, a Tiffany & Co. glass clock and an Ezra Winter mural. 

Recent visitors raved about the Guardian Building's extravagant interior, calling it "breathtaking." Reviewers said you can spend as little or as much time as you'd like inside; since it's open to the public (and free to enter during the building's business hours), you can meander at your leisure. But if you want a little guidance on the building's history and groundbreaking architectural elements, consider signing up for a tour (highly recommended by previous travelers). Pure Detroit offers free, public guided tours of the Guardian Building (as well as the city's other architectural marvel, the Fisher Building) on Saturdays and Sundays; check the Pure Detroit website to find tour dates and times.

You'll find the Guardian Building in downtown Detroit on Griswold Street. If you're not using your own two feet to get here, you can use the People Mover; the Financial District station is located across the street from the Guardian Building. To learn more about the building, visit its official website.

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#1 Detroit Institute of the Arts Arguably one of the city's foremost cultural destinations, the Detroit Institute of Arts dates back to 1885, but the beaux-arts building (referred to as the "temple of art ... Read more » Courtesy the Detroit Institute of Arts

#2 Motown Museum An entire genre  or at least sound  was born in the space of this small Detroit home. A blue and white sign, reading "Hitsville U.S.A," hangs above the ... Read more » Yelp Inc. / Flickr

#3 Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History This large museum, named for its founder Charles Wright, tells the story of the African American experience from the beginning of time to the presidency of Barack Obama. Opened in ... Read more » Girl.in.the.D / Flickr

#4 Eastern Market Eastern Market draws history geeks and foodies alike. Open since 1891, this 43-acre district (six blocks of which are devoted to the public market) is the largest historic public market ... Read more » Tamara / Flickr

#5 Comerica Park If you're not much of a baseball fan, this ballpark – home field for the Detroit Tigers – is for you. While diehard fans are glued to their seats in hopes ... Read more » mrkumm / Flickr

#6 Fox Theatre If you're in town for any amount of time, catching a performance at this National Historic Landmark is almost required. Events range from Broadway musicals to performances by big ... Read more » Gordon / Flickr

#7 Guardian Building Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989, the art deco Guardian Building is a must-see for architecture buffs. Known as Detroit's Cathedral of Finance, the Guardian Building was completed ... Read more » Angelo Mercado / Flickr

#8 Detroit Zoo Many recent travelers called the Detroit Zoo one of the city's best family attractions. Spread out across 125 acres and boasting more than 2,400 animals, the zoo has ... Read more » Valerie / Flickr

The Detroit Institute of Arts picture in Detroit
Motown Museum picture in Detroit
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History picture in Detroit
Eastern Market picture in Detroit
Comerica Park picture in Detroit
Fox Theatre picture in Detroit
Guardian Building picture in Detroit
Detroit Zoo picture in Detroit
The Detroit Institute of Arts picture in Detroit
Motown Museum picture in Detroit
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History picture in Detroit
Eastern Market picture in Detroit
Comerica Park picture in Detroit
Fox Theatre picture in Detroit
Guardian Building picture in Detroit
Detroit Zoo picture in Detroit

You'll find this Diego Rivera mural, "Detroit Industry," inside the Detroit Institute of ArtsIt's considered the finest example of Mexican mural art in the United States. Courtesy the Detroit Institute of Arts

An entire genre  or at least sound  was born in the space of this small Detroit home Yelp Inc. / Flickr

Girl.in.the.D / Flickr

Aside from its far-reaching history, Eastern Market showcases local area farmers and merchants. Tamara / Flickr

Comerica Park, located in downton Detroit, is home to the Detroit Tigers baseball team. mrkumm / Flickr

This ornate theater – a National Historic Landmark – is the place to see a Broadway show or a concert in Detroit. Gordon / Flickr

Detroit's Guardian Building may not look like much from the outside, but step inside and you'll find an elegant interior that reflects the city's past prosperity.  Angelo Mercado / Flickr

Valerie / Flickr

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