Faces in the Crowd

They keep vigil over the city in frozen silence, many of them for a century or more, just waiting for a return glance. We get face to face with some of these sculptural adornments on Detroit’s architectural wonders.



Published:

The Penobscot Building, created in 1928 (earlier sections built in 1905 and 1916.

Photographs by Cybelle Codish

A glance upward at many Detroit buildings may be greeted with a return look from a stony likeness — human, animal, or fantastical.  

Such architectural embellishments were most common on American buildings erected between 1870 and the advent of postwar modernism. In Detroit, noted architectural sculptors Corrado Parducci and Edward Wagner applied their craft to many buildings, including the Guardian, Buhl, Penobscot, and Fisher buildings (Parducci) and the pediment on the Wayne County Building (Wagner).

Today, the enduring works of Parducci, Wagner, and others reward the simple act of looking up. Following is an up-close and personal glimpse of several venerable city structures that invite us to take a walk and enjoy some face time.

 

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Best Dressed 2018

Pulling back the curtain on this year’s selection of the region’s most stylish denizens

Deeply Rooted

Influenced by their ancestors, Native American artists celebrate indigenous culture through traditional and contemporary dance, music, and more

Sanctuary for the Senses

Castalia in Midtown offers a cocktail experience unlike any other

Men's Spring Fashion: On The Town

Men's Spring Fashion.

Fall Arts Preview: Upcoming Events

Cultural life is especially vibrant this season. In this section, we offer a glimpse of upcoming exhibits, concerts, and drama, along with an introduction to the fresh faces of the DSO and a look inside a new book devoted to Detroit’s architecturally stunning churches.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Best Dressed 2018
    Pulling back the curtain on this year’s selection of the region’s most stylish denizens
  2. Keeping Up with Sheefy McFly
    The multitalented visual artist and musician is ubiquitous in the Motor City
  3. Gathering Spot
    Eastern Market restaurant finds its groove after a rocky beginning
  4. Excellence in Care: Beaumont Health
    Hour Detroit presented Beaumont Health with an Excellence in Care Award for this extraordinary...
  5. Food Recipe: Barbecue Mac & Cheese
    Vast Kitchen and Bar executive chef, Jordan Gillis, upgrades the comfort staple
  6. Sanctuary for the Senses
    Castalia in Midtown offers a cocktail experience unlike any other
  7. Excellence in Care: St. Joseph Mercy Health
    Hour Detroit presented St. Joseph Mercy Health with an Excellence in Care Award for this...
  8. Deeply Rooted
    Influenced by their ancestors, Native American artists celebrate indigenous culture through...
  9. God-Given Talent
    A local choir sings its way to live television
  10. The Sincere Storyteller
    Broadway fans will soon learn, playwright Dominique Morisseau’s work is unapologetically Detroit