Friday, July 9, 2010

Honoring the beer-making skills (and the other good deeds) of Peter Stroh

Planted mere feet from the Detroit River just east of the RenCen, a statue of the late Peter Stroh stands to remind us that, in addition to making what was once a pretty famous beer, Stroh also dabbled in a few other noteworthy projects, not the least of which was the redevelopment of the riverfront on which the statue now lives.

Stroh was a committed environmentalist, and a strong believer that the Detroit River should be accessible to and enjoyed by all, a fairly bold vision considering the entire stretch was once viewed only by people wearing coveralls and carrying shovels. He championed the U.S.-Canadian cooperation that led to the Detroit River being designated the only river system with both Canada and American Heritage River status, and helped create the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. Plus he made beer.

His statue on the riverfront, pictured here during the grayer days of early spring, lives in a recently opened stretch of the RiverWalk east of Rivard Street. That's Caesar's Windsor across the river in the background, in case that helps put it in perspective for you. Better yet, it's very near the site of the former Stroh Brewery. Where they made beer.