THE BANK OF COMMERCE

415 DEVONSHIRE ROAD

ARCHITECT - Albert Kahn, Detroit,

Built: 1907

 

As important transportation development drew more industries to Walkerville, prosperity increased between 1890 and 1910, and fine buildings continued to be added to the town streets. Stability, prosperity, security - all are terms which may apply to the architectural character of turn-of-the-century bank buildings.

Somehow the image of a Classical temple in which the treasures of the golden age of Greece and the Roman Empire were stored gave assurance to the public. If that was needed, Albert Kahn could deliver, and did so with confidence.

The scrolled Ionic capitals, surmounting fluted columns on which a plain pediment rests, say it all. With decorative detail minimized and solid mass emphasized, this unschooled, thirty-three year old architect achieved a masterful design.

Kahn was blessed with an innate grasp of harmonious proportion, nurtured by his friendship with sculptor Julius Melchers and his experience in the drafting room of Mason & Rice.

It is ironic that his greatest claim to fame is his status as the premier industrial architect for Detroit's auto barons, for whom he designed such great industrial buildings as the Dodge Truck plant and Fordís River Rouge complex, as well as the Fisher Building and General Motors Building, among hundreds of others here and abroad.

 

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