Plymouth in Wayne County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The Penniman Buildings
Most of this block of Main Street burned in 1857 and again in 1893. For this reason, this commercial block on Main Street is known as the Phoenix Block. These four buildings were erected after the 1893 fire, bearing the name "Penniman". Local history has it that they were all built together and named for Ebenezer Penniman by his daughter, Kate Penniman Allen. In addition to developing real estate in the area, Kate Penniman Allen was an accomplished business woman. Her father, Ebenezer Penniman, was the first U.S. Congressman elected from Plymouth. He served in the Thirty-Second Congress from 1851-1853. He was also a founding member of the Republican Party.
The Penniman Buildings are Classical Revival brick structures. They have a symmetrical facade with a classically inspired frieze topped with a denticulated cornice which continues across all four buildings. 318 S. Main features an unusual Palladian-inspired window with the inscription "Penniman Building 1893" above it. On each side are double windows in an enframed window. A brick parapet, which originally crowned the entire building, has been removed.
The Penniman Buildings encompass several storefronts that over the years have housed many different merchants. Some of the more familiar store names are Rauch Dry Goods, Green and Jolliffe-Haberdashers, and E.L. Riggs.
E.L. Riggs opened "The Plymouth Outfitter" in 1894 inside 336 S. Main. He and his family maintained this business until 1920. Their stock included many items that a frontier family would need.
These architecturally significant buildings are some of the few historical commercial structures that still stand in Plymouth from before the turn of the 20th century. They are important as visual, historical landmarks of Plymouth's commercial development.
Erected 2013 by Plymouth Preservation Network.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Government & Politics • Industry & Commerce • Women.
Location. 42° 22.227′ N, 83° 28.163′ W. Marker is in Plymouth, Michigan, in Wayne County. Marker is on South Main Street south of Penniman Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 336 South Main Street, Plymouth MI 48170, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Plymouth United Savings Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); Rose of Aberlone (within shouting distance of this marker); The Conner Building (within shouting distance of this marker); The Wilcox House (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Baker House (about 600 feet away); Plymouth (about 700 feet away); Gunsolly Carding Mill (approx. 0.9 miles away); Roadside Development (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Plymouth.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 16, 2019. It was originally submitted on July 16, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 80 times since then and 30 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on July 16, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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