A Column at Island Park
November's I Spy
by Sally Bjork
From the December, 2018 issue
It's "one of the columns on the Island Park Shelter, just off Island Drive" writes Melodie Marske of November's feature-"currently surrounded by water, and hopefully not too soon, ice!" she continues, referring to the clue. Mitchell Rycus, who has been going to the park since 1954, says "I think the columns might be the original ones," with a few restorations. "It was built as a comfort station," writes Susan Wineberg, author of Historic Ann Arbor-An Architectural Guide. This is "a polite way to say toilet," she continues, alluding to one of the original features of the 1914 pavilion. "It may be the oldest structure in our park system!"
While it may have started as a "comfort station," it has long since been converted to a shelter and a popular site for romantic strolls, portraits and ceremonies. "I was married there!" writes Mark Jacobsen. "We would run for the shelter," on rainy days, reminisces David Karl. "There we would watch the storm passing, holding hands." Paul Keller "can't forget that iconic ionic capital!!!" In one of those "crazy things dads do," he took his daughter's senior portrait there "on a frigid day in October 2006," bringing a large harp along. "I liked the harp(lyre)/Ancient Greek connection and made sure to include the ionic capital of the column in the photo."
We received fifteen correct entries in November and many stories of the beloved pavilion at Island Park. Marske won our random drawing. Melodie, please let us know where you'd like to enjoy your $25 gift card!
To enter this month's contest, use the photo and clue on December's Back Page and the information in the box at the bottom of the page to submit your answer.
[Originally published in December, 2018.]
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