Thursday, December 10, 2009

Big Bong! Millennium Bell ringing is a young Detroit tradition

I’ve heard people mention the Millennium Bell in downtown Detroit. And I’ve seen that big statue in Grand Circus Park across from Cheli’s that looks like an enormous steel fish head dangling from two arches. I just never knew – until now – that they are one and the same.

The Millenium Bell, I’ve come to learn, was commissioned by the City of Detroit for $330,000. It’s a 10-ton, stainless steel monster that hangs from arches that span 40 feet across and 26 feet high. Two local guys, artist Chris Turner and sculptor Matt Blake, designed it.

Unlike most of what you see downtown, nobody considers it an historical treasure because it was created less than 10 years ago. In fact, the city commissioned it in 1999 to ring in the new millennium. Now, they ring it every New Year’s Eve, which I think is one of the cooler “young” traditions downtown.

But I still think it looks like a big fish head.