Observation Deck coming to Penobscot Building

Guardian Building

Guardian Building, photo by Michael G Smith

Sometimes I find things and forget to post about them. A couple weeks ago, there was a feature from WXYZ in Detroit that the Detroit’s Penobscot Building plans to open observation deck:

New York has the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center, Chicago has the Hancock Observatory, but the doors to our city’s skyline have been closed for decades.

That’s changing, thanks to the historic Penobscot Building’s new plans to re-open its observation deck.

Kim Farmer has worked at the building since the 1990’s. She has seen owners come and go, but these new plans are what she calls, “pretty gutsy moves.”

“We plan on lighting up here, LED lights comparable to the Empire State Building,” the Vice President of Operations and Leasing told WXYZ.

There are plans to incorporate a banquet facility, and a ticket fee to reach the top. The goal is to complete the observation deck project by summer 2016.

Read on for more and thanks  for the find!

Michael took this shot a couple of years ago from the Penobscot. View it big as a building and see more in his Wirt Rowland, Architect slideshow.

PS: Read more about the Penobscot (once the 8th tallest building in the world and now 2nd tallest in Detroit) and the Guardian Building on Michigan in Pictures. They were both designed by Wirt C. Rowland, who was a heck of an architect!

 

Fisher Brothers Legacy

Fisher Brothers Legacy...

Fisher Brothers Legacy…, photo by Brad Worrell

On his excellent Historic Detroit site, Dan Austin’s excellent & comprehensive article on the Albert Kahn designed Fisher Building says:

The late 1920s were a time of unprecedented growth in Detroit, especially when it came to skyscrapers. From the Penobscot Building to the Fox Theatre, 1928 saw landmark after landmark rise in the Motor City.

The 29-story Fisher is one of three National Historic Landmarks in Detroit, along with the Fox and the Guardian Building.

“The gold-capped tower has taken its proper place in Detroit’s ever-changing skyline,” the Detroit News wrote of the Fisher in October 1928, when the finishing touches were being put on the building. “This will be the most beautiful building of its kind ever created. … It is an outstanding example of the new American school of architecture, which has arisen to typify the spirit of modern progress. No expense, Mr. Kahn said, has been spared to make the Fisher building the very epitome of things beautiful.”

To achieve this feat, the Fisher was built — with only slight exceptions — entirely out of granite and marble, including on the exterior. More than 40 kinds of marble from all over the world were used. From the base of the building to 50 feet up — the first three floors — the exterior is finished in polished Minnesota pink marble and Oriental granite. Above that is Beaver Dam marvilla marble (named such because it was harvested from the Beaver Dam Quarry at Cockeysville, Md.) on the street fronts and Carthage marble on the courts. The marble was cut and positioned to give varying textures across the exterior. “The sun (plays) on differences of saw markings and grain on each block that identify the individual pieces from their neighbors,” the Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record wrote in October 1928.

Read on for much (much) more about the Fisher Building including a sweet gallery of historic photos (including one looking up at this angle).  you can also visit the Fisher Building website.

View Brad’s photo bigger and see more in his Detroit slideshow.

More architecture on Michigan in Pictures.