FUN FRIDAY: The story of the Penobscot Building

It’s funny, even though I mention it regularly, a lot of people are surprised that Solid Signal is headquartered in Novi, Michigan. They assume that because we’re a tech-focused e-commerce company, that we must be located in Silicon Valley. The truth is that we’re Michigan born and raised, and we’re proud of it.

Proud of where we are

We’re proud to be in one of the suburbs of Detroit. Novi is a very nice place to be, Livonia, just to the southeast of us, is known by many nationwide as the home of a lot of insurance companies, but Novi is a solid tech center in its own right. And of course, we’re close to the home of car culture, Detroit. Our sports teams rise and fall (OK, to be fair the Lions haven’t risen in a while) but our civic pride never does.

Detroit’s interesting history

Sadly, a lot of people nationwide only think about Detroit in the context of its hard times. The period from about 1980-2015 was tough to be sure, as the population of the city dropped and some big name manufacturers struggled. But the city rebounded and is a vibrant home to new culture and a thriving community. And, a big part of that is the tapestry of the city’s architecture.

One of the city’s most interesting stories is that of the Penobscot Building. Sadly, most people who aren’t from Detroit don’t know about it. They may be familiar with the Renaissance Center, which has a somewhat checkered story. In earlier times, the city’s tallest building was the Penobscot building, an excellent example of the broad-shouldered midwestern architecture that dominated Detroit, Chicago, and other cities in the 1930s. The nice thing is that the building still stands today, and that people still enjoy it.

I was able to find this video which talks about the story of the Penobscot, which was completed on time, on budget, and which still stands to this day as a testament to the hard working people of Michigan and their strong-willed character.


About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.