Waiting at the stop light on the corner of Genesee and Washington, I glanced over at the old Mason Building, and noticed the faded lettering of WSGW. I almost forgot they started in that building. WSGW’s first broadcast was August 11, 1950 from their studios at Genesee and Washington Avenues on the third floor of the Mason Building in downtown Saginaw. The station was started by John Lord Booth, of Detroit who founded Booth American Company. In 1973 Booth built new studios at 1795 Tittabawassee Road with then sister station WIOG.
The Mason building on the corner, if not the not the oldest building in downtown, it is definitely one of the oldest buildings still standing today. The Kahan-Dominium building, also known as the “Bliss Block” or the “Mason Building,” was designed by celebrated Saginaw architect Ludwig V. Bude and built by Bliss, Fay & Co. in the 1860s. Underneath the aluminum facade is a beautiful old brick building.
I am not sure if the Mason Building is slated for demolition along with the other historic buildings on the block, but people always tell me we should be more like Bay City, and saving our buildings instead of tearing them down. I find it interesting that recently the Crapo Building in Downtown Bay City had it’s facade removed to reveal its masonry work. Shown HERE ironically on WSGW’s website. Maybe we could be more like Bay City and the land bank could remove the facade on the Mason Building. I wonder what the scrap rate for aluminum is these days but I guess they would rather just tear them down and put up another parking lot.
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