New mural to drape Broderick Tower, the famous ‘whales building’ in Downtown Detroit

Whales are being covered up for now while building delivers new message: ‘Detroit is home’

The Downtown Detroit building with the now famous whales mural is getting a new look -- but don't worry, the whales aren't going away completely.

DETROIT – The Downtown Detroit building with the famous whales mural is getting a new look -- but don’t worry, the whales aren’t going away completely.

Still, there will be no more whale-watching in Downtown Detroit, at least not for a while. Rocket Companies is stepping up to keep art and not advertisement on the side of Detroit’s Broderick Tower. Rocket wants the place to display the work of Detroit artists.

The building has otherwise displayed the iconic whales. If you’re at a Comerica Park ballgame, you can clearly see them in center field. That whales mural has been on display since the late 1990s. This new artwork will be going in its place for some time.

Phillip Simpson is bringing his colorful smiles to Broderick Tower along with the message: Detroit is home.

“This time we changed it all to different backgrounds, different colors, because it represents everyone. With ‘Detroit is Home,’ everyone will see themselves in some form of way and hopefully they can smile when they see it,” he said.

The new mural is printed on vinyl and attached to the wall so it does not permanently cover the existing whale painting. The mural is scheduled to go up Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, then it’s unclear when we’ll see the whales again.


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