Images inside Detroit’s Penobscot Building show exposed wires, dripping water, mold

Tenants say conditions dangerous to people working inside

DETROIT – The Penobscot Building is one of Detroit’s iconic skyscrapers, but new images from inside show parts of the building are in disarray and could be a danger to workers.

UPDATE: City of Detroit issues $3,300 worth of tickets to Penobscot owner

Last year, Help Me Hank exposed massive elevator problems inside the building, and now tenants are calling Local 4 about other conditions.

From the outside, the Penobscot Building is a stately skyscraper. It’s been an iconic fixture in the Detroit skyline since 1928 and was the tallest building in Michigan before the Renaissance Center took over in the late 1970s.

But images from the inside show some of the 47 floors are not only abandoned -- they’re a complete mess. There’s exposed wire, mold and water dripping down from the ceiling.

Full Screen
1 / 6

Inside the Penobscot Building in Detroit.

One email to Help Me Hank called the conditions “deplorable for employees and customers.” Another said the building is a “disaster.”

When Local 4 was investigating the elevator issue, which regularly left people trapped, a city inspector worked with building management to get the elevators back up and running.

Earlier this month, a fire inside an elevator shaft caused evacuations. Though there were no injuries, the smell of smoke lingers inside the Penobscot Building.

The building is owned by the same man who made news when he purchased the Silverdome for about $580,00 more than a decade ago. The Canadian-based property management company bought the Penobscot Building in 2012.

Help Me Hank went to the management office looking for answers. We also reached out to city officials about the problems.

You can watch Hank Winchester’s full story in the video posted above.

About the Authors: