Sorry that I missed highlighting last weekend’s eclipse. Please accept Tom’s photo as a substitute!
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.
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!
I think I have some days like this too.
For another perspective, try flying above the Penobscot Building in Google Earth!
When I saw Derek’s photo, I remembered that I had posted a photo of the Penobscot several years ago. I found that photo has been deleted from Flickr and therefor from Michigan in Pictures as well. So here then is the definitive Penobscot post.
Upon its completion, it was the eighth tallest building in the world and the tallest outside New York City and Chicago. Like many of the city’s other Roaring Twenties buildings, it displays Art Deco influences, including its “H” shape (designed to allow maximum sunlight into the building) and the sculptural setbacks that cause the upper floors to progressively “erode”. The building’s architect, Wirt C. Rowland, also designed such memorable Detroit skyscrapers as the Guardian Building in the same decade. At night, the building’s upper floors are dramatically lit in floodlight fashion, topped with a red sphere.
Although the Penobscot Building has more floors than Comerica Tower at Detroit Center (45 above-ground floors compared to Comerica Tower’s 43), Comerica’s floors and spires are taller, with its roof sitting roughly 60 feet taller than Penobscot’s (566′). The opulent Penobscot is one of many buildings in Detroit that features architectural sculpture by Corrado Parducci.
The Penobscot Building served as a “compass” for pilots in airplanes during its early years, due to its position of facing due north. The building also served as an inspiration of sorts for the Empire State Building in New York City, and many individuals worked on the construction of both towers.
The Penobscot Building web site says that the building serves as the fiber-optic hub for the entire Detroit area and touts it as the place for office space. You might also enjoy Historic Detroit’s page on the Penobscot Building, the Emporis page on the Penobscot and this 3D model of the Penobscot Building for Google Sketchup.
More architecture on Michigan in Pictures.