municipal center

Coleman A. Young Municipal Center

The Coleman A. Young Municipal Center is a government office building in Downtown Detroit, near Hart Plaza, One Detroit Center and the Renaissance Center. Originally called the City-County Building, it was renamed for former Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young, after his death.

The international style, high-rise building was constructed in 1951, and completed in 1954. It is 20 floors high, with one basement floor, for a total of 21. The building is used as a library, a courthouse, a county government facility (in addition to the nearby Wayne County Building), and as a city hall, replacing the now-demolished Detroit City Hall.

An enclosed skyway over Jefferson Avenue connects to the Millender Center, Courtyard by Marriott - Downtown Detroit, and the Renaissance Center as a sort of "enclosed city within a city". Entrance from the walkway to the third floor level requires a security pass, which a security guard must check; persons without the clearance must walk down to the main floor entrance.

On June 28, 2008, the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center was struck by lightning during a series of intense thunderstorms, and caused a transformer fire within the building. It re-opened for service on July 9, 2008.

The smoke and fire damage is easily visible across the river, in Windsor, Ontario, where many windows have been removed, or have shattered.


  • A 25-foot bronze statue is situated at the flat end of the tower, named the "Spirit of Detroit." During some recent championship runs by Detroit sports teams (the Red Wings, Pistons, and Tigers), the statue has been outfitted with a huge version of the appropriate team's jersey. The sculptor was Marshall Fredericks.
  • The Coleman A. Young Municipal Center houses offices, courtrooms, and meeting rooms. The verticality of the tower section, with its strips of white marble, offers a distinct contrast with the 14-story office section, in which horizontal lines are emphasized.
  • The 14-story administration tower is 197 feet tall, from the ground to the mechanical penthouse roof parapet.
  • The 20-story portion of this complex is called the Courts Tower, and contains office space on floors 1 through 8, and courtrooms, judge chambers, and jury rooms on floors 9 through 19, with the 20th floor housing the building's mechanical equipment.
  • The 14-story portion called the Administration Tower holds offices for the City of Detroit and Wayne County, as well as doctor clinics, laboratories, a municipal library, and the City Council auditorium chambers on the 13th floor.
  • A symbolic marble wall rising 43'-6.25" high stands 17' west of the Court Tower, and is connected to the Courts Tower by a canopy that forms the Woodward Avenue entrnace.


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