First building in Flint that employed an internal framework of structural steel. Like so many other "firsts", it's gone. Gone in the name of........well, I've forgotten why.Oh, wait. Demolished for construction of Flint Festival Marketplace in the early Eighties which is, of course, also gone, the concept at least if not the building. Gone in the name of.....well, I've forgotten why.Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Now that there was a good looking building. So slender. Can a building be svelte?
I spent many hours going into the Sill Building or, rather, the Flint P. Smith Building as my dad always refered to it. He worked at Darby & Son Real Estate and his office looked down on Saginaw St. which was both good and bad. Good because I could walk downtown after school at Central, ride up on the elevator after being greeted like a VIP by the nice lady who ran it because I was Vern McFarlane's daughter. No, there were no self service elevators in those days. As I remember my mission was mostly to mooch money and go to the Honey Dell and get a ice cream soda. Dad always came through with the warning, "Don't tell Mama." The greatest perk was my mother and I always had a great view of every parade on Saginaw St. Another one of the bad things was the time my dad was looking out the window he caught me trying to go into the Rialto Theater across the street, which was off bounds to me. I never have been able to find out what went on in there. It was run by Max Geeler who lived around the block from us near Kearsley Park Blvd. His daughter Sally was a casual friend and as I remember very pretty. So the postcard of the Sill Building filled my heart with many Flint memories, especially of my great Dad.
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