Detroit's well-dressed Spirit
May 8, 2020 10:31 AM   Subscribe

The Spirit of Detroit is a monument featuring a 26' bronze statue holding a family group in one hand, and a sphere symbolizing God in the other. Created by Michigan sculptor Marshall Fredericks in the second half of the 1950s, it's located at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center (formerly the Detroit City-County Building) on Woodward in Detroit. Since 1997, it's occasionally been dressed in sports jerseys when local professional teams make playoffs, as well as in other clothing marking notable local events. It's currently showing support of Henry Ford Hospital's White Ribbon Campaign to recognize and thank essential health-care and other workers.
posted by still_wears_a_hat (3 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's also part of the crest for Detroit City FC, the best soccer club in the land. The team is great, but their supporters are even better.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:32 AM on May 8 [2 favorites]


My usual evening walk route through my neighborhood takes me past a house at the end of a dead-end street. (That is to say, the street ends but next to the house is the start of a public footpath that heads down through a small patch of woods and along the creek.) The house has long had a wooden bear statue outside in their small patch of shady garden and this spring the bear has been looking festive wearing a cheap bright yellow rain slicker of the sort that you would never ever see a local wearing. But just recently the bear has begun sporting a used-up N95 mask and the effect is adorable.

I guess what I'm saying is.. if you are a person who has put up a display to support those who are trying to lessen the impact of this pandemic don't rest on your laurels and let that be all that you do, but don't count it as nothing, either. A great many people are feeling more isolated and more alone (and in many cases more scared) than they ever have before and displays of public solidarity are important to people who need to know that, despite whatever they may feel, they are not alone in this fight.

TV news and the internet are currently full of clips of highly mediagenic morons parading around with guns and demanding that their whims be fulfilled whatever the risk that may pose to the most vulnerable. The fight against their message will not be accomplished with fists and guns but with positive messages of hope, support, and unity.
posted by Nerd of the North at 2:48 PM on May 8 [2 favorites]


The statue also briefly wore a mask but as it was not sanctioned by the city it was taken down. Last fall, it wore the sweater vest and tie of the Detroit Youth Choir to pay tribute to their success on "America's Got Talent."

There's a charming story (briefly mentioned in the Wiki article) that back in 1965, shortly after a Giacomo Manzu sculpture of a nude ballet dancer called Passo di Danza was placed in front of the new Michigan Consolidated Gas Company building, pranksters laid down green footsteps leading from the Spirit of Detroit to Passo di Danza, as if to suggest what one newspaper at the time termed a "nocturnal rendezvous".
posted by Preserver at 10:21 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]


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