Civic Auditorium Reliefs

Grand Rapids MI 49504

Art Around the Corner/Civic Auditorium Reliefs
Experience Grand Rapids
Written By Experience Grand Rapids

Get ready to be wowed - Grand Rapids never fails to surprise visitors with the huge variety of things to see and do here: World-renowned art, museums and historic sites for cultural vacationers. World-class golf, recreation and beaches for nature lovers. Incredible farm-to-table restaurants for foodies and wholesome "playcation" fun for families.

Grand Rapids built its first public auditorium on the banks of the Grand River in 1933. This Depression-era public works project was dubbed the Civic Auditorium and it incorporated the work of celebrated Italian-born sculptor Corrado Parducci.

The focal point of Parducci's work here is two square limestone relief sculptures on the exterior front façade. The relief on the left is titled “Fine Arts” and the one on the right is called “Music.” Both reflect what the sculptor called his “Parducci Greek” style, which is inspired by the Art Deco and Greek Revival movements of the time. Parducci, whose art also graces many Detroit-area buildings, was the only worker on the Civic Auditorium project to be paid in cash. Hundreds of local residents were compensated in scrip, which was a currency alternative used during the Depression. The crew used limestone mined in Indiana and shaped by the Grand Rapids Cut Stone Company, and tons of Detroit-made steel for the framework of the structure. The expansion of DeVos Place Convention Center resulted in the implosion of the auditorium itself in 2003, but great care was taken to preserve Parducci’s original work, which features multiple signs and symbols including the city and state seals.

Civic Auditorium Reliefs
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Civic Auditorium Reliefs

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