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Tuesday March 20, 2018
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Terra-cotta on the First National Bank on Main

Terra Cotta on First National Bank

I Spy: February 2018

by Sally Bjork

From the March, 2018 issue

"It was boom times during the roaring twenties and things were looking up for Ann Arbor," muses David Karl about February's feature. "The I Spy photo is the bas relief in terra-cotta on the First National Bank located at 201 S. Main."

Designed by local architects Fry & Kasurin, the building was finished in 1929. Karl says "a crowd of 5,000 was on hand to celebrate" the opening, and the excitement wasn't over until two students locked themselves in the basement vault. (According to Grace Shackman's 1992 Then and Now article, "bank officials quickly assured onlookers that the students were in no danger, since the vault had a fresh air supply and even a telephone.")

"The 'lions nearby' are located at the top of the building," says Karl, quoting February's clue. Every other entrant last month looked farther afield, with most guessing the image was on the U-M Ruthven Museum Building, whose famed entrance is lined with animal carvings and flanked by pumas. With the only correct answer among our ten entries, Karl is our winner by default. He will enjoy his $25 gift certificate at Arbor Farms.

To enter this month's contest use the clue and photo on the Back Page and follow the instructions at the bottom of the page to submit your answer.    (end of article)


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