Discuss Detroit DISCUSS DETROIT! Jack Ward's Detroit Riot Monument Previous Next
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Nate
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Username: Nate

Post Number: 1
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 3:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is anyone familiar with this?

It looks like its supposed to exist at Clairmount Ave and 12th street, although there doesn't seem to be much there. An article on MOCAD's opening says The site is home to a park that probably has a name, but who knows what it is? two broken posts are left where the sign used to be. A steel sculpture by native Detroiter Jack Ward commissioned by the city serves as a monument honoring the site where the Detroit riots were sparked in July 1967. But the park's condition is less than honorable; it's intolerable.

Anyway, I'm just curious if anyone had ever visited this site or knew anything about the more recent history.
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Nate
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Username: Nate

Post Number: 2
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 3:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, it looks like I answered my own question: http://detroit1701.org/Start19 67Riot.html
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Chub
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Username: Chub

Post Number: 262
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 3:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I lived down the street from this park and never once stepped foot in it. To much garbage flying around and way too many shady people about.
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 9444
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 3:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nothing captures "riot" like a couple of stacked polyhedrons.
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Lowell
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Username: Lowell

Post Number: 2205
Registered: 09-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 7:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We have been over this ground before but I'm to lazy to hunt for it in the archives. Jack Ward was a house mate in my Colorado St. [then a co-op] house in Highland Park when he did that commission. He is a close friend of mine to this day. http://www.detroityes.com/webi sodes/2000/19neighborhood/01-W ard_Scupt.htm

The sculpture was NOT created as a memorial to the riot and Jack did not know it was for that location when he secured the commission and only learned years later of the significance of the location. It was simply a sculpture for a park and selected for, among other things, its durability against vandalism that the biases of those times assumed would ensue.

Somehow it has become mythologized as memorial. However there is no historical marker there [although I think there should be], no indication whatsoever of the fatal history of that intersection.

You have to understand the prevailing attitude of immediate post-riot Detroit. The riot was a huge embarrassment, something to be forgotten not memorialized, ashes to be risen from with new housing on burned out 12th street with a new vest pocket park at the north end of the the destruction. Wipe out 12th, make it a new divided roadway, forget the past was the message. It was all about 'look we have moved on'.
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Renf
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Username: Renf

Post Number: 41
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 8:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The last time I drove by 12st and Clairmont, the
small sculpture was there but it had been painted
a rust-red color. I will update the picture on the
Detroit1701 site.
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Andylinn
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Username: Andylinn

Post Number: 1088
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 9:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Renf, you're the Detroit 1701 webmaster / author, eh? Wonderful work. Your site is extremely indepth. I especially enjoy your section on historic homes.
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Nate
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Username: Nate

Post Number: 3
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 9:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lowell, thanks for the response. Really interesting stuff.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 4134
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 9:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I used to live across from it. The type of 'park', if you want to call it that, simply doesn't serve the needs of the surrounding neighborhood. It's a place of reflection, a memorial square (but as Lowell said, not actually memorialized to the riot), in the middle of a residential. The surrounding land use doesn't make sense. I guess it would have made sense if there was still a commercial presence, around. It's just kind of "there" if that makes any sense.
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Eastsidedame
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Username: Eastsidedame

Post Number: 664
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 5:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Who really likes that "memorial", anyway? It's a downer. We need to be reminded of this? A little plaque would suffice.
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Lowell
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Username: Lowell

Post Number: 2206
Registered: 09-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 6:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It is NOT a memorial. Repeat, it not a memorial to to 1967 or a nything. It is just a park. Read above...

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