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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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Dime Bank: 1911

Dime Bank: 1911

Detroit, Michigan, circa 1911. "Dime Savings Bank building under construction." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971)

Would have been only seven years old in this year, but I'm sure this vista would have inspired her immensely. Her late 30's Chrysler Building gargoyle picture still gives me vertigo!


The steel insides don't seem all that different from contemporary construction, but it's shocking to see the lower unfinished levels - airy and open with all that massive (granite?) density above. With older buildings I tend to believe the that the external skin is structural even if I know better and this messes with that illusion.

Working the steel

I'm not sure if I could handle working on those stage platforms like those guys that are cladding the structure.

What is the process here? Is it concrete, brick or some other rendering over the steel.

It sure is a handsome building.


Hard to imagine that everything on that building was hauled there by horse teams and freight wagons! Sure would like to see some SHORPY photos of that procedure.

[Don't forget trucks. By 1910 there were thousands of motor trucks and electric trucks on the roads. Below, an ad from 1911. - Dave]

Current Look

The beautiful Penobscot building replaced the smaller building on the far left of the photo 15 years later, sitting nicely next to the tallest building on the left edge of the photo, the Ford Building.

View Larger Map


Looks like the crew on the left has a one story lead over the crew on the right.

The ornate rooftop at lower left was Detroit's old City Hall, demolished in 1961. But the Dime Building is still there. Happy centennial, Dime.

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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