Detroit Whale Tower Mural – Cool Place To See In Detroit #5

The Detroit Whale Tower mural painted on the side of the Broderick Towers in downtown Detroit stands 65 feet long x 180 feet high. The mural was painted in life-size dimensions to give a better appreciation for aquatic life.  The “Whale Tower” was painted in six days in October, 1997 by Robert Wyland.    The mural was dedicated October 13th, 1997 by Michigan Congressman, Sander Levin & Michigan State Senator, Michael Bushard.

Detroit Whale Tower Mural, Michigan

Image courtesy of Colin McConnell

The Detroit Whale Tower” is #76 of Wyland’s  27-year campaign to create 100 murals in 79 cities across 13 countries. Wyland, a native of Madison Heights, Michigan, created the Detroit mural to show the connection between Michigan’s Great Lakes and the world’s oceans.

There’s no doubt the thing is a Detroit icon,” said Dan Austin, founder of the nonprofit site and author of Lost Detroit, a book that delves into the history of the city’s skyscrapers, including the Broderick.

In many ways, the whales have become more of a landmark than the Broderick Tower itself,” he said. “After being dark and silent for decades, the building’s name was largely forgotten.

The Broderick Tower on which Wyland’s Whale Tower mural is painted on was completed in 1928.  The building was Michigan’s second tallest skyscraper, rising to 34-stories.  The building was acquired by David Broderick in 1945 and managed by him until his death in 1957.   The David Broderick Tower was purchased by the Higgins Family in 1976.  Unfortunately, the building lost most of its tenants in the 1980’s and earned the distinction of being the 3rd tallest vacant skyscraper in the United Stats.

The David Broderick Tower was sold to Motown Construction Partners, LLC in 2010 with plans to renovate the building into residential apartments. The David Broderick Tower reopened in 2012 with over 50 residents moving in on the first weekend.   The building achieved 100% occupancy prior to the grand opening.  The apartments range from 420-square-foot studios to 2,200-square-foot-penthouses.

Where Is The Detroit Whale Tower Mural Located in Detroit?

The Wyland Whale Tower mural is located at 10 Witherell St, Detroit, MI 48226.

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