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New Detroit: 1913

New Detroit: 1913

Detroit, Michigan, circa 1913. "Dime, Penobscot, and Ford buildings." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Three Penobscots

In the mid 1980s when I was in my early 20s, I worked on the 11th floor of the Ford Building. There was still a full-serve Sanders Cafeteria and store at ground level. At lunch during the 1984 World Series Champs Detroit Tiger parade, we watched the likes of Kirk Gibson, Lance Parrish, Alan Trammel, Lou Whitaker, Tommy Brookens, Jack Morris, and skipper Sparky Anderson travel east down Congress Avenue.

The three Penobscot Buildings always confounded me as well. The J.L. Hudson Department Store had closed by the time I worked downtown. I was always disappointed that I never visited that store as an adult.

A Little Early for the Penobscot?

I just found out the iconic Penobscot building was not built until 1928. I can see the Dime building have identified the Ford building (at one time the tallest building in Detroit). I wonder if there was a prior building on site with that name--I doubt it after reading that the origin of the name is the Penobscot River (and Native American tribe) of Maine.

[There are, in 2011, three Penobscot Buildings on this block. At the time of this photo, there were only the first two. (If you look closely, you can see the word PENOBSCOT above the entrance on the taller one.) - Dave]

Sense of immensity

That's the feeling I have about this spectacular photo.
And vertigo, also.
Can even smell the smoke.
I like it very much.

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