12/11/2008

Spirit of Detroit

(Detroit, MI) I moved away from Detroit almost two decades ago, and although I still consider the city to be my hometown, it is only as an outsider that I have started to appreciate the wealth of art and culture that Detroit offers. Pictured is the Spirit of Detroit, a sculpture built in 1955 that stands in front of what we used to call the City-County Building (now the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center).

In the right hand of the figure is a bronze representation of a family, and in the left hand is a bronze sphere and rays that represent God. Nothing in this sculpture seems to represent tape drives, and the restoration project last year wisely avoided updating the Spirit of Detroit to accommodate the information revolution.

The inscription behind on the wall behind it is from 2 Corinthians (3:17): "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."

I probably walked past the statue a hundred times when I lived in Detroit, never giving it more than a passing glance. However, as an out-of-towner, I found myself transfixed by the 26-foot high sculpture.

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