Parke-Davis Research Laboratory

Former Parke-Davis Research Laboratory, along the Detroit River, Detroit, Michigan

SIGNIFICANCE

Pharmacology, the study of the changes produced in animals by chemical substances and especially the study of drugs used in treating diseases, has long been an important area of pure or basic scientific research. In the United States the development of pharmacological research began after the Civil War in the medical schools and in the laboratories associated with the drug companies. Along with the electrical and chemical industries the drug companies were among the first industries to introduce the pursuit of basic research as a company policy.

Parke-Davis and Company of Detroit, Michigan, was the industrial leader in the development of pharmacological research in the United States. When in 1902 Parke-Davis built the first industrial laboratory devoted exclusively to pharmacological research, the facility marked the institutionalization of a pure science research activity which has been responsible for many of the "wonder drugs" that are today taken for granted.

DESIGNATION(S)

  • 1976, National Historic Landmark
  • 1976, National Register of Historic Places

ARCHITECT, BUILDER, OR DESIGNER(S)

  • Donaldson & Meier, architects

SIGNIFICANT DATE(S)

  • 1866, Parke-Davis and Company was founded in a small drugstore in Detroit on October 26
  • 1873, the original Parke-Davis research laboratory was built on the site of the existing building

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