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Knapp's Centre

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Knapp's Centre
Knapp's Center Office Building
J.W. Knapp Company Building
Knapp's Department Store


Structure in General

low-rise building
existing [completed]
ceramic tile
curtain wall
light yellow blue red dark blue silver
art deco


rental apartments commercial office


  • The unique facade of this building is tiled in yellow and blue macotta, which are concrete blocks or tile with an enamelled metal finish.
  • This building is one of the finest examples of the streamlined Art Moderne style of architecture in the midwest United States.
  • Knapp's was bought by the L.S. Good & Company of Wheeling, West Virginia in 1970, and struggled until October 13, 1980 when the store closed its doors for good.
  • The Knapp's Centre replaced the Downey Hotel at this site in the 1930s.
  • The State of Michigan vacated the building in 2002, entirely, when the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) was moved to the newer Constitution Hall just a few blocks to the west.
  • The building contains five full floors, but with a ground floor mezzanine. The roof includes a prominent 7,000 sq ft mechanical floor.
  • This building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 for its outstanding example of the art moderne style.
  • The building was expanded in 1949, adding extra retail space to the west side of the building.
  • After the store's closing in 1980, the building sat empty until 1986 when the State of Michigan renovated the building for state office use.
  • Vacant about 10 years, the building reopened in 2014 following a $36.5 million renovation. The building now includes retail, office space and apartments.

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More Information


300 South Washington Square
300 South Washington Square
Ward 4

Technical Data

87.00 ft
85.50 ft
68.00 ft
12/1/2012 - 2014

Involved Companies

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Features & Amenities

  • City landmark
  • National landmark
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