Commercial Building at 104 Monroe Ave Detroit Michigan
This building housed a variety of commercial tenants over its lifetime, reflecting the vitality of Monroe Avenue as a location for business. A saloon occupied the ground floor from 1901 until 1907, followed by King's Tea Store in 1906-1917. A pawnbroker and a kosher restaurant shared the first floor from 1918 through 1923. From the mid-1920s until the late 1970, when the building was vacated, a restaurant or lunchroom occupied one of the retail spaces, while a clothing store or shoe outlet occupied the other space. The Detroit City Directories did not list the tenants occupying the upper floors, so they cannot be identified.
The structure is four stories tall, plus basement. It is rectangular in layout and measures 20 feet wide and 60 feet deep. The exterior wall on the Monroe elevation consists primarily of large window spaces on the second, third, and fourth stories, surrounded by white-colored common brick. Long concrete window sills stretch the width of the building.
The structure at 104-106 Monroe is one of a number of early twentieth century commercial buildings in downtown Detroit. This building has been altered substantially since the early twentieth century when it modestly displayed some of the Italianate elements common to other commercial structures on Monroe Avenue. The alterations completed in 1923 drastically altered the building's appearance. The remodeled Monroe facade, particularly the large spaces for glass windows, reflects the influence of Chicago-school architectural concepts.
The building was completely gutted by a fire some time after it was vacated in 1979.