The Relief at the Washtenaw County Courthouse
September 2019 I Spy
by Sally Bjork
From the October, 2019 issue
September's I Spy showed "a relief on the Washtenaw County Courthouse building ... at N. Fourth Avenue and E. Huron," writes Cathy Chow--"a welcome bit of visual interest in an otherwise drab and heavy building," adds Chuck Warpehoski.
"The new mural [mentioned] in the clue," Warpehoski continues, "is the clear high point for that block." Challenge Everything, Create Anything is on the "west facing side of the Courthouse Square Senior Apartments" across the street," says Dave Bicknell. Sponsored by Destination Ann Arbor and building owner Wickfield Properties, it was created by "the artist Mary Thiefels and her husband Danijel Matanic."
Bicknell adds that the artist who did the courthouse bas-reliefs, Carleton Angell, also "created the two pumas that are outside of the Natural History Museum." Jason Kahn says the contest "got me reading more about the history of the courthouse and lamenting the fact they tore down [its Renaissance Revival predecessor] in the 50s." In Historic Ann Arbor: An Architectural Guide, Susan Wineberg and Patrick McCauley take the middle ground: "While members of the community still mourn the destruction of the county's 1878 courthouse," they write, "[Ralph] Gerganoff's design for the  building is slowly being recognized as a Mid-Century Modern classic."
We received eight correct entries for September. Our random drawing winners are Ken Koral and Jessica Hewlett, who will enjoy their $25 gift certificate at Downtown Home & Garden.
To enter this month's contest, use the clue and photo on the Back Page of the October issue and send your guess to the address at the bottom of the page.
[Originally published in October, 2019.]
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