Wedding Photographer

Have the best days of the Grand Penobscot passed?



What is that?

The 47-story, 565-foot-tall tower located at 645 Griswold in downtown Detroit is the tallest of Penobscot’s three buildings. When it opened in 1928, it was the eighth tallest building in the world and it remained the tallest in Detroit until 1977, when the Renaissance Center opened at 729 feet. In 1993, the Ally Detroit Center opened at 619 feet, demoting the Grand Penobscot to No.3 in the city.

What is the special feature of the Grand Penobscot?

The building is a splendid example of the Art Deco era, especially with its ziggurat-shaped top, numerous artistic tributes to Native Americans, and its H-shaped front facade intended to maximize natural light inside. The lower levels are home to works by master sculptor Corrado Parducci, including relief works in which an American Indian hunts wolves and buffalo with a bow and arrows. When the 12-foot-wide red beacon at the top is illuminated, it can be seen from a distance of 40 miles.

Who occupies it?

Because a Wayne County Court office suite is located in the Penobscot, dozens of law firms also populate its floors, along with the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association and the Wolverine Bar Association. These avocados need to eat, so there’s Detroit Donuts, Which Superior Sandwiches, Athens Souvlaki, and Carnival Fresh Mex. Beyond that, there is an eclectic array of renters including the Christian Television Network, a piano teacher, a dentist, a travel agency, a Comerica branch, a wedding photographer, a recording studio and “No. 1 famous Indian DJ service”, DJ Ice and Fresh Productions.

How do you call this ?

Builder Simon J. Murphy named the historic complex after a New England Native American tribe in honor of his youth working on the Penobscot River in Maine. Murphy died in 1905, two decades before the completion of the Grand Penobscot, the third structure. In 1972 it was renamed the City National Bank Building and a CNB logo was affixed to its top, but the Penobscot name was officially restored in 1983 after the bank was acquired by First American. The move was celebrated; the Detroit Free Press The editorial board wrote that the ruling meant that “law, justice and truth can prevail … sometimes”.

Why has the Great Penobscot been in the news lately?

It’s collapsing – overheated boilers, overflowing toilets, power outages – and it doesn’t look like the current owners, Triple Properties of Toronto, care much. The company wants $ 100 million for the building, which it bought for $ 5 million in 2012. 41st floor, told the Free detroits in March. “But the building is just awful on the inside.” In 2020, the city issued 177 tickets and fines for the building. Triple is owned by Greek-Canadian businessman Andreas Apostolopoulos, whose company also oversaw the decline of the Pontiac Silverdome.



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