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Maccabees Building
Maccabee Building on Wayne State University campus.
General information
Location 5057 Woodward Avenue.
Detroit, Michigan
 United States
Status Complete
Constructed 1927
Use office
Antenna or spire 142.0 m
Roof 60.0 m
Technical details
Floor count 15
Floor area 27220 m²
Companies involved
Architect(s) Albert Kahn
Maccabees Building
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
Coordinates: 42°21′28″N 83°3′56″W / 42.35778°N 83.06556°W / 42.35778; -83.06556Coordinates: 42°21′28″N 83°3′56″W / 42.35778°N 83.06556°W / 42.35778; -83.06556
Architect: Albert Kahn
Architectural style(s): Neo-Gothic
Governing body: Local
Added to NRHP: July 07, 1983
NRHP Reference#: 83003436[1]

The Maccabees Building is a historic building located in Midtown Detroit, at 5057 Woodward Avenue. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.[1]

The 14 floor central section is rectangular and stands at 197 feet (60 m) in height. Attached to each corner of the building is a 10 story tower, giving the overall building the shape of an "H".

The high-rise truss tower was constructed in the neo-gothic architectural style, using a great deal of limestone, much like the Detroit Masonic Temple.

The central section is topped by a radio broadcast tower. This was originally the broadcast tower for WXYZ radio (both WXYZ-AM and WXYZ-FM (now WRIF), and television, until the station moved to new facilities in 1959. Some sources put the height from the base to tip of antenna at 450 feet (137 m).

It formerly served as the headquarters of Detroit Public Schools.[2]


Construction on the building began in 1926, and was finished in 1927. The building was originally constructed for the fraternal organization Knights of the Maccabees which later established the Royal Maccabees Insurance company.

Surplus space in the building was leased to other businesses, including retail business on the ground floor and office space in the upper floors. One noteworthy tenant was Detroit's radio and television station WXYZ. The station had its studios, offices and broadcast facilities in the Maccabees Building from 1930 until 1959. From 1959 until 2001, the studios, transmitter, and tower were used by WDET FM.

The "Lone Ranger" radio show debuted and was broadcast from this building in 1933. It later went on to become a popular T.V. show and had movie spin-offs. During the 1950s, Soupy Sales performed in the lower level studio.

In 1960, the Maccabees relocated their headquarters to a new building in Southfield, Michigan - a suburb of detroit. In 1986, they built new 251,000-square-foot (23,300 m2) office building, once again in Southfield. These newer buildings are also sometimes referred to as the "Maccabees Building"

In 1960, after the Maccabees organization vacated the building, the Detroit Public School System purchased the building and used it as its headquarters.

The Maccabees Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

In 2002 DPS paid the owner of the Fisher Building $24.1 million in so the district could occupy five floors in the building; the Fisher Building now serves as the DPS headquarters.[3] In 2002, the Maccabees Building was bought by Wayne State University to serve as an office building. The building now houses offices for Wayne State University in Midtown Detroit. The building has a number of uses, including offices, communication, retail, and even has university rooms for Wayne State University.

External links


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.  
  2. ^ "Contact Us." Detroit Public Schools. May 10, 2000. Retrieved on November 7, 2009.
  3. ^ Oosting, Jonathan. "Audit: Detroit Public Schools overpaid millions for real estate after middle-man markups." September 24, 2009. Retrieved on November 7, 2009.


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