9 views from Penobscot Building’s future observation deck


For the first time in decades, the 47-story Penobscot Building plans to reopen the observation deck to the public.

The view atop the 567-foot building is breathtaking.

When the Penobscot opened in 1928, it was the fourth tallest building in the U.S., according to HistoricDetroit.org. It is now the third tallest building in Detroit.

The owners of the Penobscot Building, Triple Properties, are beginning to look for ideas to reopen the observation deck. The owners also are fixing the iconic red orb that used to warn planes of the towering building.

Meet the man crazy enough to fix the Penobscot’s red orb.  

Here are photos taken from atop the building, where the observation deck will be. All photos by Steve Neavling.

Pensobscot Building, steve neavling, motor city muckraker, downtown detroit,







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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • JIm Porter

    I guess asking the ATF to assist in creating an Arson Task Force, is out of the question. It worked in other cities why not Detroit. The Fire Fighters are as worn out as the apparatus. Bring in fresh ideas, and Federal Funds, but first the city must admit they have the problem.

  • Joeysback

    Looks like the river is almost completely frozen over. Amazing photos. I used to see the light from my home on Sheridan and Palmer as a child–over 60 years ago.