Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Spirit of Detroit

The Spirit of Detroit is a city monument that represents the city of Detroit.  The bronze statue was commissioned for $58,000 in 1955 by Marshall Fredricks and was dedicated in 1958.  Located at the Coleman A. Young Center on Woodward Ave, the 26-foot sculpture was the largest cast bronze statue since the Renaissance at the time it was built.  In the statue’s left hand it holds a gilt bronze sphere, emanating rays to symbolize God, and in its right it holds a family group symbolizing all human relationships.  On the wall behind the sculpture the inscription 2 Corinthians (3:17) “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,” along with both the symbols of the city and of the county.  On the plaque in front of the statue gives the inscription: “The artist expresses the concept that God, through the spirit of man is manifested in the family, the noblest human relationship.” 
 
The Spirit of Detroit is often seen wearing Detroit’s professional team’s jerseys if a particular team is in the playoffs.  However, while going through repairs and restorations, the statue did not wear its traditional Red Wings jersey for the first time since 1997 during the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs.  Similarly, during a visit from the Three Tenors, the statue wore a tuxedo.  The statue has become a symbol of the City of Detroit, appearing on logos for many of Detroit’s city departments.

 


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