Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Detroit WPA Buildings and Art Previous Next
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Aoife
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Username: Aoife

Post Number: 3
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 9:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does anyone know of buildings in Detroit that were built with WPA funds, or contained artwork from the program? I have been doing a bit of research on WPA funded projects in Detroit, but am coming up with very little- most of what I have been finding is in the burbs. Any help is most appreciated!
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 4120
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 10:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No building in Michigan has more WPA funded artwork than the Broadhead Naval Armory, located on Jefferson... the first building east of Belle Isle's MacArthur Bridge.

Unfortunately the armory has been decommissioned, is closed, and is currently owned by the city of Detroit, with no plans for it currently.
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Quozl
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Username: Quozl

Post Number: 425
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 10:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In 1937 an artist named Walter Speck completed a mural in the union headquarters of the West Side Local 174, UAW that was located in the city of Detroit. Speck, who was versed in ceramic pottery and fine arts, was born in Detroit, Michigan on December 29th 1895. He was head of the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) arts program in Detroit, Michigan.

* The mural was completed in 1937 at West Side Local 174, UAW located at 2730 Maybury Grand in Detroit, Michigan.

* In 1954 the mural was moved to a new local building located at 6495 West Warren in Detroit, Michigan.

* In 2001 UAW Local 174 and UAW Local 157 merged. The mural was moved again and mounted on the wall behind the podium making it possible for all to view.

With this merger came a new name "The West Side Local 174." The local number remained 174 in honor of the first West Side Local 174 President Walter P. Reuther.

Over the years this priceless piece of labor art has seen it's fair share of cigarette smoke, water damage and sad to say, vandalism.



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Quozl
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Username: Quozl

Post Number: 426
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 10:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Many sidewalks constructed in Wayne County were also WPA funded projects. Most of the sidewalk layers were black Americans.



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Quozl
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Username: Quozl

Post Number: 427
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 11:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here is a good link for you Aoife:

http://www.wpamurals.com/michi gan.htm
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Oldredfordette
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Username: Oldredfordette

Post Number: 1497
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 2:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quozi, the Michigan Labor History Society is trying to raise funds to repair the mural at Local 174. It's very expensive though.
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Aoife
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Username: Aoife

Post Number: 4
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 8:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks everyone- you are amazingly helpful!

I was wondering, did anyone attended a school that had murals in it? It seems as if there were supposedly many schools in the area that benefited from the Art program, like Grosse Pointe South and Royal Oak, but I have seen reference to murals in Detroit, and Dearborn, they just did not include the school names.
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Norwalk
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Username: Norwalk

Post Number: 56
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 9:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Hamtramck Branch of the US Post Office has a couple of murals in it. I've always assumed they are WPA murals as I have seen the ones in the Clare Post Office branch and the Clare Middle school which are WPA murals and are similar in size.
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Citylover
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Username: Citylover

Post Number: 2255
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 11:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ query
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Quozl
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Username: Quozl

Post Number: 429
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 11:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Citylover, your link yields an error. Try:

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/in dex.html

and search wpa detroit or whatever you desire.
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Citylover
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Username: Citylover

Post Number: 2256
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 12:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

THANKS
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Luckycar
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Username: Luckycar

Post Number: 12
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 1:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Ann Arbor Water Treatment Plant has WPA art work in it.It was going to be destroyed during an upgrade,but was saved by a city employee.Kate Quatrin was her name,she has since died.
The Ann Arbor Wastewater Treatment Plant has buildings from the 1930's .I don't know if they are WPA or some other program.They are slated to be torn down during the next upgrade.
27 years treating sewage in AA...

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