Look Ahead to 2021 and See How Gilbert's Tower Will Change the Detroit Skyline

This preview of a future view from Belle Isle shows the 800-foot tower (right) coming to the Hudson's block on Woodward. (Google Earth graphic)

Here's a chance to jump ahead a few years, thanks to a local designer with time and talent to create scale-model views of downtown Detroit in a few years.

The graphic wizard, who gives Deadline Detroit permission to share his work, asks to be identified only as "Mr. Hemi." He adapts three-dimensional Google Earth photos of the city center by inserting accurately sized images of the 800-foot tower coming to the Hudson's site on Woodward Avenue by 2021.

The future skyline images begin with this scale model, created on software called SketchUp.

Eleven scenes in this gallery show how the high-rise will alter the skyline when seen from Campus Martius, Capitol Park, atop Renaissance Center, Comerica Park, Belle Isle and Windsor. (Three of those views are below.)

Groundbreaking for the three-year Bedrock Detroit project is scheduled for the end of next week. It's on Woodward between Grand River and Gratiot, with a side facing Farmer Street.

The unnamed office, retail and residential tower, designed by SHoP Architects of New York, will be topped by a public observation deck that makes it several stories taller than the RenCen -- currently the city's highest building.

That tower and a 35-story proposed Bedrock project on the nearby Monroe Block "will dramatically modernize the look of downtown," John Gallagher writes in the Free Press. Right now, downtown's "greatest architectural works — the Guardian, Penobscot and other towers — still mostly date to Detroit's Golden Age of the 1920s," he adds.

At Reddit, the graphics' anonymous creator describes his process:

Using the images and depictions available here, I created a rough 3D model of the Hudson's site skyscraper in SketchUp. I took some artistic liberties with the observation deck on the very top, but otherwise this model closely matches the designs shown, including the height of 800 feet.

Using SketchUp's location tagging in conjunction with Google Earth Pro, bringing the 3D model into its location in Detroit was as simple as a few clicks. . . . Since these models are lightweight, just simple geometry with textures, it takes no time at all. . . .

Now I am even more excited about our new skyscraper.

His post earns more than 160 upvotes, plus our gratitude for being able to share these:

This perspective is from the top of Renaissance Center.

Here's how the cityscape will look from the ballpark in just over three years.

This angle shows how the newcomer at left will outrank the present height leader alongside the Detroit River at right.

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