To introduce Michigan's vast recreational offerings to a demographic far removed from the wilderness, construction team members converted Detroit's 120-year-old Globe Trading Company Building—a condemned 40,000-sq-ft structure—into a showcase for the state's natural resources.

Photo Courtesy of Walbridge
The historic Globe Trading Company Building now serves as a showcase for Michigan's natural resources.
Photo Courtesy of Walbridge
Team members salvaged large portions of historic steel beams and columns, in addition to Wellman-style trusses.

Shuttered for decades, the Globe served as an early example of steel-framing when first constructed. To preserve its place in history, project team members elected to salvage large portions of the beams, columns and unique Wellman-style trusses.

When team members first arrived on site, however, they were confronted with crumbling brick, shattered windows and concrete panels hanging from ceilings.

Creating a safe jobsite was the first item of business, requiring extensive evaluation of the existing conditions. This process also assisted in identifying structural members of sufficient strength to include in the project.

Among other tasks, crews pressure-washed every square inch of the interior to expose problems and determine where the building's existing steel required replacement or reinforcement.

Where reinforcement was required, designers engineered new members to fit within the existing framework.

Investigative efforts, which required months, presented a large but necessary risk and exposed an array of unknowns.

In all, about 40% of the existing structure required removal, with an intricate bracing system erected to support remaining portions during demolition.

Due in part to careful hand removal, team members likewise incorporated more than 40,000 original bricks into the refurbished structure. Similarly, salvaged clay roof tiles were incorporated into a reconstructed parapet cap.

The Outdoor Adventure Center hosts exhibits and programs that showcase a variety of endeavors native to Michigan, from boating and camping to fishing, hunting and trapping, all while educating visitors about the state's ecosystem, state parks, animal habitats and conservation programs.