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UAW-Ford National Programs Center, Detroit, Michigan | by Ken Lund
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UAW-Ford National Programs Center, Detroit, Michigan

The UAW-Ford National Programs Center is a tall building in Hart Plaza, Downtown Detroit, Michigan. The high-rise building was constructed in 1948 as the Veterans Memorial Building. It stands at 41 m (135 ft) in height, with 10 above-ground floors.


The Veterans Memorial Building was designed in the International style by the firm of Harley, Ellington and Day who also designed the nearby 211 West Fort Street Building and the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center. The exterior of the building is faced with marble to conform with the master plan of the Civic Center. Windows on the east and west walls are square with a single marble frame extending the length of each floor. The narrow north wall has a 30-foot high Victory Eagle by sculptor Marshall Fredericks carved in relief over the inscription In honored memory of those who gave their lives for their country. Above the eagle at the roof line are 13 stars. The building was dedicated on June 11, 1950 and as the Veterans Memorial Building housed offices for city agencies and veterans groups.


Inside the building is a 450-seat theatre-style conference center, with a 200-seat lecture hall. Both of which are on the ground floor of the building. This building also contains a lobby on the Atwater Street level near the rear of the building, and another on the second floor at the Jefferson Avenue entrance. The Jefferson lobby is 22 feet, 11 inches above the Atwater lobby.


In September 1995, the UAW and City of Detroit reached a long-term agreement to lease the structure and it underwent renovation to house UAW offices. Work was completed on October 1, 1997 and included adding a large window above the eagle sculpture on the Jefferson Avenue facade.


This building is located between Cobo Hall and Hart Plaza. Although its address is on Jefferson Avenue, it is located several feet south of Jefferson on Civic Center Drive. To the west are seven pylons carved also carved by Marshall Fredericks which depict the founding of Detroit and the ends of several conflicts in which the US played a part.


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Taken on May 16, 2014