ROADSIDE MICHIGAN: The Leaning Tower of Pizza, Ann Arbor
It’s the leaning tower of…..pizza!
Well, sort of.
This object is a 50-foot tall replica of a 30-story building that never came to fruition. The original building was supposed to be headquarters of Domino’s Pizza.
During the 1980s, Domino’s Pizza CEO Tom Monaghan wanted his pizza headquarters housed in a skyscraper based on an un-built structure by Frank Lloyd Wright, the “Golden Beacon”. Later on, Monaghan and the construction company cut their ties and dropped the project.
Monaghan then asked architect Gunnar Birkerts to design the headquarters, and the result was a 15-degree angle skyscraper, reminiscent of Wright's designs. Even so, the building never got made, so a 50-foot model replaced it, and stands on the site where the proposed headquarters would have been.
The odd-shaped, zig-zag structure next to it is believed to be a cell phone tower. Why the weird design? Monaghan said the only way this tower would be put on his property is if his own architects designed it. So they did.
“The Leaning Tower of Pizza" (and Zig-Zag) is easily seen from the road in Ann Arbor Charter Township on Ave Maria Drive.