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A Higher Tower: 1942

A Higher Tower: 1942

July 1942. "Top of Detroit City Hall dwarfed by the modern Penobscot Building in the background." Photo by Arthur Siegel for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Thank you Arthur Siegel

For your beautifully and strikingly composed and executed photograph.

Merry Christmas

Dave, I don't know how to photoshop, but you get the idea. Thanks for creating such a great website. Thanks for letting me babble on it as much as you do. I hope you and tterrace et al. have Merry Christmas and a great 2023.

Penobscot Antenna

The Penobscot Building originally hosted AM radio station WBXWJ, owned by the Detroit News. The FCC, however, decided that FM was the future thing. So, in anticipation of the FCC's actions, the Detroit News began the process of replacing W8XWJ with an FM station. AM station W8XWJ went silent on 4/13/1941. Beginning on 5/13/1941, the new FM facility, employing W8XWJ's former Penobscot Building studios and transmitter antenna, returned to the airwaves as Michigan's first FM station, W45D. Today, WXYT-FM is owned by Audacy Inc. The transmitter and antenna are no longer on top of the Penobscot Building.

Eighth-tallest tower

Eighth-tallest building in the world when completed in 1928 (according to wikipedia). This beautiful 566-foot building has 45 above-ground floors and has Native American motifs in art deco ornamentation inside and out. As a kid driving downtown with my parents I loved seeing the Penobscot getting closer, crowned by the red-blinking tower on top.

The Front-line Fallen

much as in warfare, all of the buildings in the foreground are gone, all those behind them have survived (with some battle wounds).

Of more interest, perhaps, this photo serves as a tutorial on the "Detroit's Highest" progression: the Hammond Building, to City Hall's left, and the Majestic, to the right, had each borne that title previously. Less than forty years separated the Hammond from the Penobscot; the latter would hold the title for fifty.

[Among the background survivors are the twin towers of the Dime Savings Bank. - Dave]

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