DETROIT (WWJ) – The switch has been thrown and the lights are back on at the top of the historic Penobscot building in Detroit.
WWJ Newsradio 950’s Sandra McNeil reports the Penobscot’s light has been dark since about five years ago, when the buildings then-owner decided the elecricity was just too expensive.
Sitting 47 stories up from street level, it has been said the landmark’s distinctive neon beacon can be seen up to 40 miles away on a clear day.
Stanley Finsilver, part of the current management team and a Detroit resident, said that light is important to the city’s landscape.
“As a little kid I used to come down to this building to see my uncle. And when you see the skyline of Detroit, you see the red ball,” said Finsilver. “I think it’s a symbol of this place. I think that it’s a symbol of Detroit.”
“When you watch a hockey game anywhere else in this world and the Detroit Red Wings are playing and it’s from this city, they always pan to that ball. That ball is Detroit,” he said. “It’s red and it’s on fire.”
Thursday night’s re-lighting is part of a $1.5 million renovation of the building that opened in 1928. When it opened, the Penobscot was the tallest building in the city and the 8th tallest in the world.