Discuss Detroit DISCUSS DETROIT! Belle Isle Giant Ice Previous Next
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Penelopetheduck
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Username: Penelopetheduck

Post Number: 40
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 2:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does anyone know what the giant glacier looking thing on the Detroit side of Belle Isle is? It appears to be a glacier with a tree in the middle...but why?

Water main break? art project gone wrong?
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Eric_c
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Username: Eric_c

Post Number: 735
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 2:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Welcome to Detroit, Penelope!

That's Belle Isles' famous Ice Tree. It's exactly what it looks like: a few pines strapped together and covered with water that freezes.

It makes ice caves to play in and quite an interesting site just to pass by!
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Penelopetheduck
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Username: Penelopetheduck

Post Number: 41
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 2:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Now I want more information because I have never heard of the "Famouse Ice Tree" and I feel robbed.

Whose idea was this? When? Were they high?
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Gazhekwe
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Username: Gazhekwe

Post Number: 2940
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 2:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That has been a tradition for many years on Belle Isle. When did it start and why? Hmmm, my memory needs some jogging. Was it mid-70s? I got here in the mid-60s and I remember when they started this, but not the reasoning behind it.

This is from DetroitCity.com:

UPDATE:
I've done some digging, and it appears that this has been an annual attraction since at least the 60's. I would guess that this unusually cold winter has allowed for a much more impressive ice buildup than the relatively warmer winters we've had the last few years. Enjoy it while it lasts!

http://www.detroitcity.com/blo gs/viewblog.php?id=2266
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Eastsideal
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Username: Eastsideal

Post Number: 398
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 3:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Parks and Rec Department have done it there every winter since I was a little kid (which means at least since the mid '60s). Whenever we had a prolonged freeze for a few days we would drive over there on the weekend and have a look. It's an east side tradition.
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 1773
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 3:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Used to do it all the time on Washington Boulevard in front of the Cadillac Hotel (now the site of the Book-Caddy). There are postcards of it. Here's a photo from WPR Library: http://tinyurl.com/chs3ac

Belle Isle frozen fountain: http://tinyurl.com/cl5h3o
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1660
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 6:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is what it looked like a few days before Christmas. And there istn't a tree under there. Just a telephone pole.


Frozen fountain
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Cub
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Username: Cub

Post Number: 1147
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 7:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When I was there on the 28th of February, I could see that there were evergreen tree pieces sticking out the top.
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Raj313
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Username: Raj313

Post Number: 72
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 7:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's where the official city Christmas trees go after the new year. It's been that way for the 51 years that I have been living here.
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Wash_man
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Username: Wash_man

Post Number: 1056
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 15, 2009 - 6:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There IS a tree under there. I took this today before the parade.


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