Dark brown office building with three stories and tall windows. The facade has towers that are a little taller than the rest of the building, which has a modernist, rectangular design. It’s surrounded by trees without leaves and a driveway covered in debris.
Kmart’s former headquarters, photographed in 2017. Credit: Photo credit: “Kmart HQ Troy, MI 1” by Mike Kalasnik, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The former Kmart headquarters in Troy is getting demolished in the coming weeks. The retailer left in 2006, and the current owner hadn’t been able to find a suitable use for the massive complex. 

Nicknamed “Fort Kresge,” the building has a truly unique design with modular office structures connected by octagonal towers. When it opened in 1972, it was around 600,000 square feet but reached a maximum size of more than 900,000 square feet in the 1990s.

 Detroit architecture firm Smith, Hinchman & Grylls (now SmithGroup) won awards for its design, including one from the American Institute of Architects. The building was quite impressive inside, too, containing a stunning art collection with works by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Paul Klee. 

The demolition is expected to take nine months to a year. No redevelopment plans for the site have been made public yet.

Aaron (he/him) believes in telling true stories about real people. He doesn’t think there’s anything better than a crisp fall afternoon at the Detroit Jazz Fest.