From the exterior alone, the Guardian Building distinguishes itself as an extraordinary place in downtown Detroit. Over 2 million tangerine-colored bricks texture its 40 stories, later to be named “Guardian bricks” by the manufacturer in honor of the project. Although there are more curiosities to be discovered inside, the one-of-a-kind “Aztec Art Deco” style influences the design and materials in the space. Built in 1929, the Guardian Building is still in impressive condition and continues to host gatherings ranging from weddings to galas, trade shows and educational workshops within its two eye-catching spaces.

While the building wasn’t nicknamed the “Cathedral of Finance” for the Promenade, the space feels like a cathedral with its remarkable five-story ceiling. The Michigan Mural, also five stories tall, is another element that draws the eye upward in the room, adding to the sense of grandeur throughout the space. On the ornate metal motif that separates the lobby from the Promenade, a Tiffany Company clock shows when the end of the business day arrives, as events in the Promenade can only begin after retail tenants close for the day. For a strolling cocktail hour, up to 275 people can gather within its 5,000 square feet.

For a smaller group, the Executive Boardroom seats 20 at its table and provides an overall retro feel with wood paneling, wood parquet and marble floors. When it comes to amenities in both spaces, planners supply their own catering, audio-visual equipment, décor and vendors for meetings and events. However, planners can count on the Guardian Building to provide two security guards onsite, as well as a building engineer to help with several tasks.

Even 91 years later, the history and uncommon elements of the building add up to beautiful, memorable events for attendees.

Chances are, you won’t know you’re living through history until it’s too late. It’s already happening. A chain reaction has been set in motion and the ground has begun to slide beneath your feet. This past year has been a whirlwind to say the least. As a global pandemic sent the world reeling, planners were left grasping for footholds as the event industry was brought to a standstill and many of the most fundamental elements of live meetings and events were cast in a new light.


After a year filled with uncertainty and countless projects and proposals put on hold, growth in any sector of the hospitality industry is always welcome news. But a statewide slew of brand-new hotels? That’s something to celebrate. Here, we spotlight just a few of the new properties offering planners and guests new spots to meet, refresh and recharge.


Take note of these seven pros who are making their mark in the meetings and events industry. 

Mary Kerr, CTA, President & CEO 
Destination Ann Arbor
Lifetime Achievement