City Hall Move Could Result in Relocation of Hubbard Statue, War Memorial

Should the city create a veterans memorial park near the site of the new city hall?

As Dearborn’s veterans , it begged the question: What will happen to the city’s war memorials if moves?

The city is looking to sell the current structure to nonprofit group Artspace, which would turn the complex into a live-work space for artists. Meanwhile, Dearborn City Council of the former ADP building on Michigan Avenue for the purpose of turning into a new City Hall.

Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly confirmed that although no concrete decision has been made, the city is leaning toward moving the war memorial, Veterans Plaza, and statue of longtime Dearborn Mayor Orville Hubbard to a new location, too.

“We’ll be engaging veterans and … the Hubbard family as to what their desire would be and what they’d like to see,” O’Reilly said, adding that the committee that raised the funds for the Hubbard statue would also be consulted.

O’Reilly said that the city could request to leave the memorials and Veterans Plaza in tact surrounding the old City Hall building–even if Artspace or another buyer were to take possession of the complex–but that preliminary discussions have indicated that most are for moving the features to the city-owned green space just east of the ADP building.

The resulting space–landscaped, and with sitting and walking areas–would be renamed something along the lines of Hubbard Park, or Veterans Memorial Park.

“My expectation is that (veterans are) going to want to have a sense of place,” O’Reilly said. “My notion is we would … take that natural environment and make it a walking park that would focus on veterans and what their contribution has been.”

Front and center to that park could potentially be the statue of Hubbard–a move that his daughter, City Council member Nancy Hubbard, is supportive of.

“I think that would be a good idea,” Hubbard said. “I don’t see anything wrong with that at all.”

Hubbard added that the moving of City Hall–like the moving of the statue of her father–was a tough decision for her to support, but one she felt was right.

“I think most Dearborn residents, once it’s done, will be happy with it,” she said. “I know there’s a lot of mixed feelings. It was a hard decision to make, but you’ve got to look at the big picture. I think in the long run, it’s going to work out fine.”

Negotiations on the ADP purchase are still pending, as city contractors conduct an evaluation of the building. That $13,500 contract to URS was approved Tuesday by City Council, with Council President Tom Tafelski dissenting.

Lee Jacobsen May 31, 2012 at 08:26 PM
The Hubbard statue is 'art', what better place than to leave it as it sits in a building area dedicated to the arts. Ditto for the current war memorials, they deserve to rest in peace. Let's save the new grass and area at the new City Hall for new memorials. As others have mentioned, this would also save $$.
Next Gen June 03, 2012 at 06:19 PM
It cannot be easy to move the huge statue and memorial, so what PRIVATE contractor will do the work? More importantly, who will PAY? I am confident Mayor O'Reilly will just add that cost into the black hole that sucked up the true costs of restoring our historic City Hall. Dearborn voters can rest assured knowing the tax-increase we voted for in November will cover such needless expenditures. I feel duped, do you?
No Way June 03, 2012 at 09:50 PM
BS. The war memorials at city hall, including the large bronze plaques mounted inside, belong where the seat of local government is physically located for people to see while they are conducting city business at city hall. Whomever is awarded the city hall complex for pennies on the dollar of what it SHOULD be sold for, should bear the expense of moving the monuments. Unless you want to assemble at the "art colony" every Memorial Day. Probably should relocate the parade permanently in the West End anyway. The Hubbard statue should stay there at the colony for the arts. He was a paternalistic socialist anyway.
Lee Jacobsen June 03, 2012 at 11:48 PM
War memorials can be anywhere, there is no rule that they have to belong where the local seat of govt resides. It is convenient, as the memorials are for the brave souls who defended our govt system, but the statue of Hubbard is not a war memorial, so he can stay put, or perhaps have the Hubbard family move him if need be. The new owners of the city hall complex have no interest in war memorials. Why should they be on the hook for moving them? Getting a good deal on the building is not a reason. We do have a military reserve, let them get some practice with their equipment and move the war memorials. The military take care of their own. However, they are not 'mind readers' , they probably don't read 'Patch', so the city has to contact the National Guard and request their help. Cost should be zero.
Frank Lee June 04, 2012 at 06:11 AM
Oreilly is a disgrace, as a veteran I don't need a park, what I want is Dearborn to maintain their parks and libraries. Save me the bs, this is not about veterans or Hubbard this is about spending money we don't have


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