The University of Detroit Mercy is demolishing the iconic Fisher Administration Building because undertaking the repairs and renovations to bring it up to modern standards was more expensive than demolition, according to the university.
The building was planned in the early 1960s when the university was looking to consolidate its administrative offices. The Fisher family donated $750,000 toward its construction and had their name attached to the final building. The university hired acclaimed metro Detroit architect Gunnar Birkerts to design the building, which opened in 1966. His firm won several architectural awards for the design, but also received criticism due to the building’s harsh modern aesthetic being at odds with the Spanish-inspired architecture on the rest of campus.
The university said “the building has proved to be less than enduring” because of several outdated design features, like bathrooms in stairwells that were inaccessible to anyone who can’t climb stairs. Demolition of the 52,000-square-foot building began in late September. There’s been no news about what might be built in its place.