Look Up - History Is All Around You

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I don't know how many times I've walked by this and missed it. I was out with my friend Rob and saw this from 2 blocks away and had to get a picture of it. The buildings are close, but I ducked into an alley and just got enough of it.

Sebastien Kresge opened his first retail store a few blocks from here in 1897. This building was built in 1894 and in 1907 became Kresge's 2nd store, when he moved here from the previous location across from Hudsons. Within a year, he was opening stores throughout the state and in other locations such as Chicago. By 1912 he had 85 stores. Known for his generosity, he created the charitable Kresge Foundation in 1926. His empire grew into one of the largest retail operations in the world. In 1962, in an effort to branch out, they opened their first K-Mart store, eventually changing all the stores to that name. It took 10 years to change them all, from 1977 to 1987.

You never know what you might find if you take a second to look up once in a while. :)

BACKYard Woods Explorer, SCOTTS WORLD, and 7 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 6 more comments

  1. phrenzee 61 months ago | reply

    I love old ghost ads. Thanks for sharing.

  2. .brianday 61 months ago | reply

    nice find and description D

  3. Kc Jacoby Photography LLC 61 months ago | reply

    Great building. The sky looks a little off keel. I wonder why that might be?!?!?! hehehehehe...

    Great history as always Derek.

  4. Mike Lanzetta 61 months ago | reply

    Is that actually the original sky?! Nice shot.

  5. Flint Foto Factory 61 months ago | reply

    Love it - great capture. And the Greek Keys detailing at the bottom / center of your capture is awesome.

  6. cam phone guy 61 months ago | reply

    Derek, what are the cross streets of this building? Interesting find- and great angle on it!

  7. Kim.Kozlowski 61 months ago | reply

    I spotted this last week, liked it and but didn't shoot it, don't know why

  8. DetroitDerek Photography ( ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ) 61 months ago | reply

    Cam- there's not really cross streets, this part of the building is in an alley. The closest would be Woodward/GrandRiver where the front of this building is. This sign is on the back of the building.

  9. SCOTTS WORLD 61 months ago | reply

    Superb shot....and that title is priceless....well done my friend :)

  10. ifmuth 61 months ago | reply

    Isn't amazing how long the paint stuck on?

  11. ...kelly 61 months ago | reply

    they made it to Canada too Derek, we had one in Sarnia so i'm told!
    --
    Seen on your photo stream. ( ?² )

  12. David Sebben 61 months ago | reply

    Great angle of a great ghost!

  13. DetroitDerek Photography ( ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ) 61 months ago | reply

    I've mapped this one now, sorry, I usually am much quicker at doing it.

  14. Susan Harner 60 months ago | reply

    Where do you find your history?

  15. DetroitDerek Photography ( ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ) 60 months ago | reply

    I have a lot of different books on Detroit History. One of my favorites is the Detroit Almanac ( published by the Detroit Free press ). I'm also very lucky, the Warren library here as a HUGE collection of Michigan and Detroit history books that were donated by a Senator to the library, some published before 1900.

  16. JuneNY 60 months ago | reply

    I remember Kresge's five and dime from my childhood.
    Thanks for posting this old ghost sign.

  17. kluehirschSnowpine 60 months ago | reply

    Derek, you might want to meet David Clements, a Detroit photographer and author of "Talking Shops: Detroit Commercial Folk Art". You probably can find the book on line. David is my brother-in-law. Also, are you related to Paulette Farr, who went to Cass and was in my class?

    Kresge was a Detroit staple. Good to see this. I had no idea about its ties to K-mart!

  18. DetroitDerek Photography ( ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ) 60 months ago | reply

    Thanks for all your comments, I'll look him up. :)

    My family are directly from England/Holland - I'm the first of my family to graduate from a high school and university in the US. I have some relatives in Canada but everyone else is overseas.

  19. Monachromatic 56 months ago | reply

    Love that street, they were filming an episode of Detroit 187 there last week

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