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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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McGraw Building: 1908

McGraw Building: 1908

Detroit, Michigan, circa 1908. "McGraw Building and Michigan Savings Bank." At the corner of Griswold and Lafayette, this earlier portrayal of the building shown in the previous post affords a better view of the Lafayette Barber Shop, home of "Electric Vibration Face & Scalp Treatment." 8x10 glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

A Goldilocks building

Not too plain, not too ornate--just right!

re: Same Building?

It's a photo blog; what captions?

Let There Be Lights!

Another fine Shorpy example of early twentieth century urban architecture, complete with at least four examples of illuminated signage (Lafayette Theater, Malcomson's Coal, Central Savings Bank and, of course, The Free Press - "Use Our Liner Ads"). Note to Dave: how about a night view of some signs like these "lit up"? As for the brutally retouched trolley wires, they look to me like condensation trails from a very busy airspace.

Same Building?

Isn't this one and the previous German American Bank one the same building at a different time and angle?

[One of half a dozen similar comments. Sometimes I wonder if anyone READS THE CAPTIONS under the pictures. - Dave]

Edit: Sorry actually I don't think the page was drawing properly and the captions were incomplete. but It could be I missed them I suppose


I'm shocked to see chemtrails so far back in time.

I thought they were

... chemtrails!!!!!!!

Founder of Ford Motor

On the left side of the building is Malcomson Coal. Alexander Y. Malcomson was the Coal King of Detroit and he was one of the few people who was crazy enough to back Henry Ford in 1902. After he had become successful, Ford eventually squeezed Malcomson out of the auto business - but it all started with coal money.

Great photo!


Comparing this one to the German-American Bank picture, we can see that some globe light fixtures were added to the entrance sometime after this picture was taken - I guess in 1908 they just relied on the lone street light.

Ledge Lizard

Now what do you suppose that gentleman is doing out on the ledge of that building?


Doggone it! At first glance, I thought; "Finally, proof the Air Force was already at work on high altitude aircraft before the trusting, gullible public even knew there *was* an Air Force."

Only to find out it was an early Silicon Valley skunkworks Photoshop.

Lafayette Barber Shop

I absolutely LOVE the front of that barber shop. Beautiful signage!

I'm also really liking the American flags used with the one big star and 12 surrounding it on the other side of the building. There appears to be three barber shops on that one corner.


Was this taken on the day of the 1908 Detroit 'One Legged Pedestrian' races? Difficult to pick out a winner!

Don't Jump!

There's a guy out on the ledge above the bank.

Don't jump!

It's just not worth it. Or high enough.

Nice retouching job

I can't even tell there were wires in the frame. Someone's Photoshop skills were lacking back in 1908!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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