Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Refurbishing the Calder on Cass/Michigan Ave. Previous Next
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Motorkitty
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Username: Motorkitty

Post Number: 1
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 69.136.148.56
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 5:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yesterday, to our horror, my husband and I noticed a big crane-like machine and the dreaded yellow tape surrounding the red Calder statue in front of the SBC building. The statue had also been partially dismantled, the top pieces were gone.
It was around 7 pm and there was no one there.

This morning, I got up and went back down to the statue where I talked with a man who was video-taping as three men took apart the statue bolt by bolt, tenderly placing each piece in a huge bin. He informed me that the Calder statue is being refurbished by Georgio on the East side of Detroit. He is a well known artist who repairs artwork for clients internationally. Not an original Detroiter, he made his home here by choice.
Georgio's one stipulation to agreeing to repairs on the statue was that he would do it if he could re-paint it black, the color that the artist Calder originally intedned for the piece to be.

The man filming the documentary informed me that the staue will probably be gone until September of 2006. And as mentioned, it will be black instead of red (faded as it was) when it returns. He pointed out that there is damage to one of the "legs" of the statue from where a truck backed into it. This, along with general repair and re-painting will be completed over the next few months.

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(Message edited by motorkitty on April 05, 2006)
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 435
Registered: 01-2005
Posted From: 207.200.116.139
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 5:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I dunno. I've seen exploded boilers at old gold mine sites that are prettier than that piece of, um, "art".

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 1958
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 4.229.150.33
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 6:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Welcome to the forum Motorkitty, what a great post to introduce yourself!!!

I remember that the Calder was originally painted a rusty brown to go with the former Michigan Bell HQ facade (built in 1973, which I guess is the date for the artwork). Only in the last dozen years or so (IIRC) was it repainted bright orange-red.

But, it was hardly noticeable when it was rusty brown, and the orange-red brought attention to it. Painting it black will really reduce its' presence at Michigan/Cass. I kinda liked the current orange-red.

You could spot it from a distance in that color, but not black!
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Bvos
Member
Username: Bvos

Post Number: 1381
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 75.10.25.142
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 11:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm sure Calder knew what he was doing when he picked the color. It was commissioned for the building it sits in front of.

I've often wondered if that was a Calder. Now I know. Good to hear that it's being restored. How often do you hear of architecture and/or public artwork being properly taken care of in Detroit? Not very often.

Does anyone know why this Calder piece doesn't get much publicity? Most cities (Grand Rapids, Chicago, etc.) make a big deal out of their Calder pieces. It it possibly because it's privately owned instead of publicly owned as is the case in the two cities mentioned above?
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 184
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 24.208.234.52
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 11:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ahhhhhh....................don 't believe it--that story is a cover-up for what's really going on.

http://www.theonion.com/conten t/node/46937
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Leoqueen
Member
Username: Leoqueen

Post Number: 1218
Registered: 07-2004
Posted From: 64.12.116.204
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 11:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does anyone know where the Chamberlain sculpture is? It used to be across the street from the Calder, in front of the Federal Building
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Hysteria
Member
Username: Hysteria

Post Number: 32
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 64.12.116.204
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 11:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Motorkitty, what a cool name. Welcome.
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Livedog2
Member
Username: Livedog2

Post Number: 39
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 24.223.133.177
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 12:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Motorkitty what a great post with photos!

Thank you for the report.

Welcome

motor kitty

Livedog2
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Bvos
Member
Username: Bvos

Post Number: 1387
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 75.10.25.142
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 2:03 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Leoqueen,

I think it's being refurbished and turned into this:

http://www.deltascientific.com /hs_bollards.htm

(Message edited by BVos on April 06, 2006)
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Broken_main
Member
Username: Broken_main

Post Number: 1014
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 69.222.11.226
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 2:48 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nice one Bvos...Welcome to the forum motorkitty
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Downtown_dave
Member
Username: Downtown_dave

Post Number: 61
Registered: 07-2005
Posted From: 63.77.247.130
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 11:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Leoqueen, I've wondered the same. The plaza redo at the Federal Building is completed and the recessed spot for it is there, so I thought maybe the Chamberlain sculpture would return. I believe the sculpture was purchased with our federal tax dollars to help put "art in public places." Anyone know its whereabouts?

Would prefer a red Calder, too... (Red was his favorite color -- the guy always wore a red sweater -- even if he did specify black paint on some of his sculptures.)
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Dialh4hipster
Member
Username: Dialh4hipster

Post Number: 1564
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.61.187.234
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 11:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey, maybe they will restore the Calder mobile at the Grosse Pointe Public Library Main Branch (a Marcel Breuer building, by the way) next.

Originally it was black but apparently someone along the line (school children from the look of it) decided it would be cooler if they painted each of the shapes a different bright color.

What a great school project! Give that junior librarian an A+!

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