Penobscot Building (1905)

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Penobscot Building
Penobscot Building Detroit MI.jpg
Location 131 West Fort Street
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates 42°19′48.5″N 83°2′53.2″W / 42.330139°N 83.048111°W / 42.330139; -83.048111Coordinates: 42°19′48.5″N 83°2′53.2″W / 42.330139°N 83.048111°W / 42.330139; -83.048111
Built 1905
Architect Donaldson and Meier
Architectural style Beaux-Arts
Part of Detroit Financial District (#09001067)
Designated CP December 14, 2009
This article is about the original "Penobscot Building". For other buildings also part of the Penobscot Block, see: Penobscot Building Annex and Penobscot Building.

The Penobscot Building is the original 13-story building of the Penobscot Block complex in downtown Detroit, Michigan. It is the first Penobscot Building, and one of three buildings of the same name in the later-constructed complex. It is located at 131 West Fort Street, within the Detroit Financial District.


The Penobscot Building was designed by Donaldson and Meier in the Beaux-Arts style, and incorporates brick and stone into its materials. Construction began in 1904 and was completed in 1905.[1] Its building was financed by prominent Detroit businessmen, including lumberman Simon J. Murphy, Sr..


The lower three stories of the building are faced in limestone, the middle seven in brick, and the upper three in terra cotta. The façade is divided into five bays, each with a pair of double-hung windows. Corinthian column piers front the eleventh and twelfth stories, and the original building cornice has been removed.

Present day[edit]

The present day use of the office building is primarily for retail shops and services. It is a contributing property in the Detroit Financial Historic District, and on the National Register of Historic Places.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hill, Eric J. and John Gallagher (2002). AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3120-3.  P. 92.

External links[edit]