Piece description from the artist

Renaissance Center – Detroit | 1977 – John Portman

The Renaissance Center (also known as the GM Renaissance Center and nicknamed the RenCen) is a group of seven interconnected skyscrapers in Downtown Detroit, Michigan. Located on the International Riverfront, the Renaissance Center complex is owned by General Motors as its world headquarters. The central tower, the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, is the second tallest all-hotel skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. At a total height of 727 ft, It has been the tallest building in Michigan since it was erected in 1977.

Conceived by Henry Ford II and financed primarily by the Ford Motor Company, the Renaissance Center became the world's largest private development with an anticipated 1971 cost of $500 million. The project was intended to revitalize the economy of Detroit. In its first year of operation it generated over $1 billion in economic growth for the downtown.

In 1980, Detroit hosted the Republican National Convention and presidential nominee Ronald Reagan and former President Gerald Ford both stayed at the Renaissance Center while in attendance.

In 1996, General Motors purchased the complex and moved its world headquarters to the Renaissance Center downtown. By 2004, GM completed an extensive $500 million renovation of the Renaissance Center, including a $100 million makeover for the hotel and the new glass Wintergarden facing the Detroit River, the GM Plaza and Promenade on the International Riverfront, and Canada.

In January 2015, General Motors announced its intent to renovate much of the complex to make it more inviting as a destination for visitors to Detroit. In early 2018, the new experience GM World opened, which provides visitors a year-round auto show experience.

Other works by Ashland Thomas

About Ashland Thomas

Chicago, IL

Ashland grew up in Southeast Virginia surrounded by lush rural landscapes, great protected swamp lands, national & state parks, the Chesapeake Bay, the Eastern Shore, the breathtaking Skyline Drive & Blue Ridge Mountains, and the inlets & oceans of Virginia & North Carolina.

It was this constant variation in natural beauty that first drew his eye to the camera; that, and the constant joy of capturing life's candid moments on film. Although no particular subject is banned from the lens of Ashland's camera, it is landscapes, cityscapes, wildlife, and nature that truly captures his heart.

"There's always more to see, more to learn, more to be wowed about-I just hope you enjoy what I see in the world."

A constant staple on the likes of Instagram, Flickr, and Facebook, Ashland currently resides in Chicago, Illinois, and looks forward to many more years of development, collaboration, creativity, world travel, and art.

See Ashland's portfolio here

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