The Spirit of Detroit is a city monument with a large bronze statue created by Marshall Fredericks and located at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan.
It was commissioned in 1955 for a cost of $58,000 (equivalent to $415 thousand in 2016), and dedicated on September 23, 1958. In its left hand, the large seated figure holds a gilt bronze sphere emanating rays to symbolize God. The people in the figure’s right hand are a family group symbolizing all human relationships. The 26-foot (7.9 m) sculpture was the largest cast bronze statue since the Renaissance when it was first installed. It was cast in Oslo, Norway.
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. 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.
The City of Detroit and Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, located on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University, will be hosting a 60th anniversary celebration May 12th from 6 to 10 p.m.
All proceeds from the event will go to Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum. For more information, see marshallfredericks.org
Aleanna Siacon, “60th Birthday Celebration for Spirit of Detroit is Set”, Detroit Free Press, March 27, 2018.