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Michigan Bell Pingree Central Office | by mgsmith
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Michigan Bell Pingree Central Office

The Michigan Bell (now AT&T) Pingree Central Office, located on Greiner Street at Schoenherr, just west of Gratiot Avenue in Detroit. Designed by Smith, Hinchman & Grylls, Wirt Rowland Chief Designer, and completed in 1928.

 

This is one of the very few central office buildings that retains its original windows. Many others have had their windows bricked up.

 

If this building appears a bit like a warehouse, it's because it has been enlarged multiple times from its original configuration. When completed in 1928, the building was two stories high and only one-half as wide. The third floor and fourth floor were added at different times. Unfortunately, when the additional floors were added, the interesting brickwork designs above the second floor windows were dispensed with (see photo below).

 

Nevertheless, with its bright orange brick and bold stripes of limestone, the structure is quite attractive. It shares a number of features with other buildings designed by Rowland: dentil molding beneath the window sills (second floor), corbeled or stepped arch corners over the first floor windows and a green marble inset over the front door.

 

The concrete wall in front of the entry is actually a wheelchair ramp which extends to the corner of the building.

 

There is a rather odd sight in the Google street view of this building, visible within the second door (far left in this photo). Here is a link which opens in a new window: Google Maps

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Taken on September 16, 2012