Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Peter Smith and Sons building Previous Next
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Irish_mafia
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Username: Irish_mafia

Post Number: 683
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 6:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Anybody know the origins of "Peter Smith and Sons" building and the company that was run there?

It is on the right in the linked photo.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/g sgeorge/345035335/in/set-72157 594458281167/

I have info on Peter Smith Heater company but I think that this was a different company.

Thanks.

(Message edited by irish_mafia on January 04, 2007)
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Irish_mafia
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Username: Irish_mafia

Post Number: 684
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 7:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

aha!

Thanks Hockey Player

SMITH, J. Henry; born, Detroit, Nov. 19, 1867; son of Peter and Nella (Huyser) Smith; educated in Detroit public schools; married at Detroit, Dec. 30, 1895, Mame Adelaide Calvert. Was brought up in wholesale and retail butter, egg and cheese business established by his father, in 1859, and succeeded to sole ownership, 1904, business operating under title of Peter Smith & Sons. Member Detroit Board of Commerce, Rushmere. Recreations: Outdoor sports. Office: 24 Gratiot Av., Detroit. Residence: 39 Bethune Av., W., Detroit; summer residence: Walkerville, Can
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Mplsryan
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Username: Mplsryan

Post Number: 149
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 7:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hmmm, noticed the comment on the photo too, 'May cause celebration'.... lol. Depends on your perspective. Smith Sons in a lovely building though, how is it currently utilized?
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Detroitphotographer
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Username: Detroitphotographer

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 12:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The building was constructed in 1912, and designed in part by Leonard Willeke over a period of 5 months. It was built for the Peter Smith & Son's Co. By the 1920s, the building was the headquarters of the American State Bank. They went under in the Depression, and the building became home to T.B. Rayl's Hardware Company, which relocated from its store on Woodward Avenue at Grand River. After that, the building became a multi-tenant office building, housing dentists, finance agencies, and various other sorts of offices. The last use was as lofts on the upper floors, but due to a newspaper article that was run in the paper a year or so ago, the tenants there got evicted.

The building is an ideal candidate for lofts. It is for sale; however, it's another case of a building owner wanting way too much money for his building. The lobby is small, but nice. Unfortunately, at some point the mezzanine was filled in to create more floor space.
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 177
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 1:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If by the 1920s the building became part of American State Bank, that would make the painting on the back (reading Peter Smith & Sons Co.) some pretty durable paint.
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Detroitphotographer
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Username: Detroitphotographer

Post Number: 4
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 1:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The "Peter Smith & Son's Co." on the back of the building is actually made of tile set into the brick. It was painted over with "T.B. Rayl's Hardware" when they moved into the building, but that paint has mostly flaked off, revealing the original name again.
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Swingline
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Username: Swingline

Post Number: 660
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 2:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Didn't the Peoples Outfitters store expand into the upper floors of this building at some point?
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 4997
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 7:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I thought People's Outfitting simply extended into the little low-rise directly adjacent to it.

Detroitphotographer, where'd you get that info from? Also, what is the address?
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Irish_mafia
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Username: Irish_mafia

Post Number: 685
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 10:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Great info all.

Thanks
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5004
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 4:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't know why it took so long, but I just realized that this is the building we call the Capitol Park Building, today. This is 1145 Griswold right on Capitol Park. Who owns this one?

BTW, from looking at the Detroit 1976 interactive map, it appears that the building People's Outfitting later expanded in to was the Brown Brothers Cigar Factory, which was 5-stories and directly east of the 1145 Griswold/Capitol Park Building.

Lastly, does anyone know anything about the 1133 Griswold? It's a small building just north of where the old Kline's Building was, and its directly west of the building this thread was started about. It's also directly across Griswold from the Stott Building, and looks to be a modern addition to the area.

(Message edited by lmichigan on January 05, 2007)
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Detroitphotographer
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Username: Detroitphotographer

Post Number: 5
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 10:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

1133 Griswold was home to the United Savings Bank. It is a historic building, but it was butchered in a 1960s remodeling. In the remodeling, the original plaster ceiling was spraypainted black, and then a dropped ceiling was placed over it. The original plaster ceiling was still visible in a utility closet on the mezzanine. It was used as a bank up until the very end. I believe it closed sometime during the 1990s, but I'm not sure about that.
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 189
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 9:02 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does any one else not feel that Capitol Park is the most underappreciated 'square' in downtown Detroit? It has some of the most defined street walls downtown surrounding a triangle shaped park. Harmonie Park does as well, but Harmonie park has huge gaps in its edges and Capitol Park's surrounding buildings are on a much larger scale than Harmonie's...
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 1844
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 9:37 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

IIRC, 1133 Griswold is an Albert Kahn design.
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Hockey_player
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Username: Hockey_player

Post Number: 293
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 9:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quote: "BTW, from looking at the Detroit 1976 interactive map, it appears that the building People's Outfitting later expanded in to was the Brown Brothers Cigar Factory, which was 5-stories and directly east of the 1145 Griswold/Capitol Park Building."

Incorrect. The Brown Brothers Cigar Factory is to the west, not east, of the Capitol Park Building, and is six stories, not five. The bottom story is cut off in the photo on the 1976 site. The building is still standing and was undergoing renovation a few years back.

In addition, People's did not expand into it, it expanded into the building to the east of it, which was the State Sample Company Building, with which it merged in later years.

Furthermore, a skywalk was built that connected People's to the Peter Smith and Sons building, though they did not expand the retail business into that building.

(Message edited by hockey_player on January 06, 2007)
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 878
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 9:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitphotographer--Welcome to the forum, great first posts!
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Eric
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Username: Eric

Post Number: 661
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 2:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Pics of the Capitol Park Building found on flick

From Capitol Park
http://flickr.com/photos/south en/94677809/

An aerial view
http://flickr.com/photos/allan m/14191437/

The skybridge
http://flickr.com/photos/allan m/16017964/
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Gsgeorge
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Username: Gsgeorge

Post Number: 69
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 4:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

Does any one else not feel that Capitol Park is the most underappreciated 'square' in downtown Detroit? It has some of the most defined street walls downtown surrounding a triangle shaped park. Harmonie Park does as well, but Harmonie park has huge gaps in its edges and Capitol Park's surrounding buildings are on a much larger scale than Harmonie's...




I agree Charlotte. Capitol Park is my favorite park in the city and it is surrounded by one of the most beautiful urban environments in the whole state. The view down Griswold is classic Detroit. Unfortunately i've had some bad experiences there...
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5009
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 6:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitphotographer, shoot me an email at lmontg at comcast.net.
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 196
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 6:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, it does unfortunately prob. have the highest concentration of poverty currently in downtown Detroit. We all know what that concentration can lead to.

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