SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

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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Double Nickel: 1912

Double Nickel: 1912

December 31, 1912. "Dime Savings Bank Building, Detroit." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Still there: now called Chrysler House

Building of many names

The Peter Smith and Sons building housed offices for its namesake firm - retail butter, egg and cheese. It was then named for the new tenant, American State Bank. The bank went under in the depression, and it T.B. Rayl's Hardware took over. After Rayl's left, it was renamed the Capital Park Building, and became general offices, then lofts before abandonment in the late 1990s. It has recently been rehabbed into the Capital Park Lofts. The hardware store painted over the Peter Smith and Sons sign, but that flaked off to reveal the original tiles. Additional info.

Peter Smith and Sons

In 1911 Peter Smith leased the corner of Griswold and State for 99 years. The next year (the year this photo was taken), he built his building which still stands today. The sign "Peter Smith and Sons Co" is still just as clear as it was 105 years ago, because he had the sign set in black tiles directly into the brick façade of the building.


Someone seems to be having a heck of a good time on the 8th floor.

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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