World Headquarters

2072 RIVERSIDE DRIVE EAST (former Sandwich Street) ARCHITECT - Mason & Rice, Detroit,

Built: 1892-1894


The flagship of the Walker enterprise stands on the riverfront just east of Devonshire Road. Its design is based on that of the Florentine Renaissance Palazzo Pandolfini (c.1527) with elements taken from Palazzi Zorzi, Rubino and Strozzi, and churches of San Miniato and San Marco.

Smothered for decades under a dense blanket of ivy, the building was carefully restored in 1990 to reveal its original appearance and fine architectural detail. The exterior features terra cotta ornament and long narrow Roman bricks, bronze gates and lanterns. Mason's twenty-three-year-old draftsman, Albert Kahn, is responsible for the luxurious interior, including mahogany and Circassian walnut panelling, Mexican onyx, Normandy and Egyptian marble, and fine woodcarving throughout. A double staircase leads down to the gardens overlooking the river where a sculpture fountain by Joseph N. DeLauro depicts the aboriginal people's creation myth - a theme appropriate to the site where the Ottawa village was located c. 1730. The elegant building stands as a reminder of the enormous prosperity enjoyed by the firm over its first decades of operation.

Read More About Albert Kahn and Mason-Rice- click here