Gilbert tweets he's buying old Wayne County building in April Fools' joke

Gilbert tweets he's buying old Wayne County building in April Fools' joke
Posted at 7:46 PM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 19:46:40-04

In a tweet, businessman Dan Gilbert says he's made another building purchase in Detroit.

Gilbert tweeted the following Friday night:

The tweet linked to the following news release, which is dated April 1st.


Iconic rocket to be constructed into famous steeple transforming Detroit’s skyline

April 1, 2017 [DETROIT] -— Bedrock today announced the acquisition of 600 Randolph Street, widely known as the Old Wayne County Building. The iconic five-story, 250,000 square foot building is located in the heart of downtown Detroit. When constructed in 1902, it was regarded as one of the most impressive architectural structures in the city, and is now both a U.S. National Historic Landmark and a Michigan State Historic Site.

Quicken Loans has leased the building where they plan on relocating the headquarters of Rocket Mortgage, its powerful online engine for the country’s first all-digital mortgage, and its 720 team members. Renovations will begin soon to transform the building into something that speaks to the mission of Rocket Mortgage, as well as the City of Detroit as a whole. Bedrock worked with ROSSETTI, the Detroit-based architecture firm, to redevelop the classic tower at the top of the historic landmark into a granite, stone and copper-like rocket, while still honoring the original design of the steeple. The launch of the rocket will appear to be lifting off into space, with a billowing cloud effect coming from the bottom of the tower. In keeping with Bedrock’s preservationist philosophy, portions of the original tower itself will be embedded into the structure. The design was created to be a symbol of the city’s launch into the new era of prosperity, excitement and inclusion.

“The unique architectural motif was intended to capture the recent unprecedented rise of Detroit and the power of its diverse people and business community, yet symbolically, the design aspires to represent the future trajectory of the city, its people, and its infinite potential,” said Dan Gilbert, Chairman of Quicken Loans.

The Old Wayne County Building was designed by Detroit architects John and Arthur Scott, and is one of the nation’s finest surviving examples of Roman Baroque Revival architecture, adding elements of Beaux-Arts and Neoclassical styles as well. It was built using copper, granite and stone, the interior finished with a variety of woods, marbles, tiles, and mosaics. The exterior sculptures were created by Detroit sculptor Edward Wagner and New York sculptor J. Massey Rhind in 1903, and represent Law, Commerce, Agriculture, and Mechanics. The entire cost of the building at the time of its dedication in 1902 was approximately $1,600,000. It was home to county executive branch employees until late 2009, housing 18 courtrooms and 145 other rooms. 

Art and historic building aficionados will be pleased to learn that the existing aged copper statues, which are being removed for the rocket steeple construction, will be donated to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), for a future exhibit dedicated to the history of precious metal and their connection to the industrial age of the Motor City.

“Bedrock has been involved in many projects throughout the city where balancing the respect of historic architecture and the needs of modern-day tenants is paramount. The rocket steeple initiative is a great representation of executing this balance perfectly,” said Jim Ketai, CEO of Bedrock.

Construction will begin immediately and is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2018. 

It also contained the above picture.

When contacted about the tweet, a Bedrock PR person responded, "I'd say consider the date tomorrow..."