77ºF

Iconic Detroit Buildings: Penobscot Building

historicdetroit.org
historicdetroit.org

DETROIT – One of the most iconic buildings in Detroit is the historic Penobscot Building.

The skyscraper was opened in 1928, designed by art deco architect Wirt Rowland.

Rowland contributed to several iconic buildings around Southeast Michigan, including the National Theatre and the University of Michigan's Hill Auditorium.

The 47-story Penobscot sits on Griswold Street in Downtown Detroit.

The Penobscot is actually made up of three buildings: The 47-story building is know as the Greater Penobscot, but the first part built was a 13-story building named Murphy, erected in 1903.

The second building was a 24-story tower, built in 1916.

The 47-story building, standing at about 567 feet, cost about $5 million to build.

At the time it opened in October 1928, it was the fourth tallest building in the country and eighth tallest in the world.

Before the completion of the 729-foot Renaissance Center, it was the tallest building in Detroit.

It's currently the city's third-tallest, behind the Ren Cen and Comerica Tower.

The Penobscot is well-known in Detroit's skyline as the building with the glowing orb on top.

The beacon features a blinking red light, simply for decoration.

One of the most private restaurants in Detroit, the Caucus Club, used to sit inside the Penobscot. It closed its doors in 2012, but was recently leased and planned to reopen.

The Penobscot is also known for its unique decorative carvings, which have been carefully preserved.

We'll be highlighting a Detroit building every Thursday. Stay tuned!

Photos/Info courtesy: HistoricDetroit.Org

Photos by Ryan Southen, Jack P. Johnson, Jennifer Baross and Dan Austin for HistoricDetroit.Org

ALSO SEE - from 2012: Penobscot Building purchases by same millionaire who grabbed Pontiac Silverdome


About the Author: