Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Flint Artifacts: Skyline Club Souvenir Photo




11 comments:

  1. Bradley Colchester MillerJune 24, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    There just weren't that many 10 story buildings. I think it was either the Metropolitan Building, which is now Northbank Center as I recall, or the Old Brewery on 15th St., but I can't imagine that was 10 stories. The Union paper, The Flint Weekly Review, was published in that Old Brewery building, which lends credence to the possibility that it was the CIO Building. I would have thought it was 5 or 6 stories maximum.

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  2. Maybe I'm supposed to know, but which building was the "CIO Building", with at least ten floors?

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    1. The current Northbank Center does seem to be the best guess at this point. Also notice that the club doesn't seem to be too fancy from the wire grills on the inside of the windows.

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    2. On your point, Gordon, if the place is 10-stories up, why the need to put security grills on the windows? The only reason I can come up with is that a fire escape ladder was nearby. Not knowing anything about the building, can anybody recall an external fire escape system?

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    3. One reason to put security grilles on windows of a tenth floor bar/dance hall might be to keep patrons from falling, or being tossed out, the windows during beer-fueled fights and other rambunctiousness.

      Of course, maybe the Skyline Club was genteel and guys didn't get into fights. Non-genteel bar behavior used to be pretty common, though.

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  3. There was also a gymnasium up there once. Perhaps to keep the balls from breaking the windows?

    Ever hear of 1929?

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  4. Given the collective memory of Flint Expat readers, I'm a little surprised that no one has come forward and definitively declared the exact location of what was known as the C.I.O. Building, especially since it wasn't exactly maintaining a low-profile with dancing seven nights a week. Anybody?

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  5. The CIO Building was an earlier name of the Northbank Center.

    I found positive confirmation of that fact on page 72 of the book "Flint 1890-1960" written by the Genesee Historical Society, Arcadia Publishing, 2004.

    The building has had the following names:
    Industrial Savings Bank, built 1923.
    Industrial Building (following the merger with the Union Trust & Savings to form the Union Industrial Bank, 1929)
    CIO Building
    Metropolitan Building
    Northbank Center

    Also mentioned in the book; The building's upper floors included a track and a gym that was used for high school basketball games, dances, and other events. Also the IMA had a "palatial club room" in the building. Perhaps that IMA club room later became the Skyline Club.

    I also seem to remember seeing old historic photos of the gym (perhaps in the Flint Journal) that referred to it as the "IMA Gym", and that this gym was essentially the "IMA" prior to the construction of the "IMA Auditorium" in 1929. Or perhaps it was merely that IMA sponsored events were held in that gym prior to 1929.

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    1. Thanks for the confirmation. I've never been inside the Northbank Center. I know UM-Flint now owns it and I believe they did some significant rehab work at some point. Here's a link with some exterior and interior shots: http://www.flintexpats.com/2009/09/flint-postcards-industrial-savings-bank.html

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  6. It was probably never the real name of the building now known as Northbank Center. Perhaps they had an office there, and the CIO sponsored the dances. I believe it was called The Metropolitan Building in that era. I remember people called The National Building "The Morrison Building" because Morrison's was the ground floor occupant. Perhaps that is why it says CIO Building. Otherwise, that "Collective Memory" may have been being investigated next door at the "CIA Building", which oddly enough had a whole bunch of telephones sitting on a table back in the day. OK, I made that one up.:)

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  7. I think at one time it was also called the ima building.It had a bowling alley on the 8th floor and a bar called the penguin room I thinkI used to sell newspapers on the corners downtown and some times my spot would be in front trying to sell to people going in and out and those that would drive up to the curb.
    In the forties " open the door Richard" was a very popular song and the artist that sang it appeared at the skyline club.

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