Photograph taken from Center Avenue and Saginaw Street in 1909 is replicated in etched glass in the historic kiosk erected by the Rotary Club of Bay City as a centennial project.
Rotarians Dedicate Historic Kiosk in Downtown Micro-Park
Delta Student Jeannie Peters Designs Maritime Sculpture Highlighting Park
April 24, 2005
By: Dave Rogers
THIS WEEK'S PROGRAM: Update on Zekeriakoy, Turkey, twin club.
LAST WEEK'S PROGRAM: Dedication of Rotary Historic Kiosk in Downtown Micro-Park.
The first of perhaps many historic kiosks in Downtown Bay City was dedicated last Tuesday by the Rotary Club of Bay City.
The kiosk, in a micro-park, at the southwest corner of Center Avenue and Saginaw Street, is adjacent to the Delta College Planetarium.
The micro-park and kiosk are the Rotary Club's centennial project, said Rotary President Mike Stoner, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Rotary International, founded in 1905 in Chicago.
While another historic kiosk will follow at Waterfall Park, planned near the river at the foot of Third Street, the Rotary Club will also devote a share of its major project funding of about $250,000 over five years to restoration of the Pere Marquette Union Station depot on Boutell Place at Fourth Street, Mr. Stoner indicated.
Delta student Jeannie Peters designed a sculpture with a maritime theme to accent the micro-park.
Ms. Peters was one of many speakers at the dedication luncheon in the Planetarium, pointing out that her sculpture is modeled after an early sextant, a maritime navigating tool that uses the stars to guide the course of a vessel.
"The sculpture represents where Bay City has been and where it is going," said Ms. Peters. The art incorporates interlocking circles and rough finished black granite symbolic of the earth, she said.
Other speakers included project co-chairpersons Gena Gates and Shirley Roberts, Downtown Management Board Executive Candace Bales, Architect John Meyer, Ron Bloomfield, curator of the Bay County Historical Museum; graphics specialist Andy Rogers, whobrought the idea to the group from Ann Arbor, and Delta College President Peter Boyse.
"The process went so smoothly with the entire club involved in the decision," said Ms. Gates. "Everybody set aside their individual passions to lend supportto this project." Work on the project began in April, 2003, she said.
"This is a significant improvement to Downtown Bay City and is part of our Cool Cities initiative," said Mrs. Roberts, a prime mover in the grant application that led to that important state designation as well as the promoter of the new Bay City brand.
"Historic appreciation of the site was the key," said Mr. Bloomfield, noting that the kiosk incorporates a photograph taken in 1909 from about the same spot as the present site of the micro-park. It shows the new Wenonah Hotel and buildings at the foot of Center Avenue that were located in what is now Wenonah Park. Among the buildings were a furniture and hardware store, the Herman Hiss Jewelry Store and the Bay City Tribune newspaper.
The kiosk display of etched glass also incorporates a photo of James Shearer, architect and builder, and one of three Shearer Buildings built downtown just after the Civil War. The building, now the Mill End Store, is to be converted to a condominimum building by Jim Reid of Renaissance Builders and a partner.###Photos by Anne Trahan