Downtown Muskegon Public Arts Committee
Muskegon's Downtown Rebirth is More than Buildings
In 2005, the visioning process for Imagine Muskegon identified Muskegon's historic and cultural center as the corner of Third Street and Western Avenue. Once the setting for the now absent Muskegon Mall - today it is the setting for renowned sculptor Richard Hunt's "Muskegon, Together Rising." This spectacular sculpture, dedicated in June 2008, marks the attainment of a major goal of the Downtown Muskegon Development Company's Public Art Committee - to assure that Muskegon's new downtown will be visually remarkable through the public art it displays. Public art is both an expression of a community's identity and the hopes and dreams of its residents.
The pace of downtown beautification and revitalization has increased dramatically in the past year as new buildings go up, businesses open and residential spaces become available. Other downtown projects include:
- James Clover's "Sculpture with Stars" will be the centerpiece for the new Celebration Square. Donated by SPX Corporation, the Clover Sculpture was moved into greater public view from SPX's former headquarters.
The Third Street Promenade Fund was created in September 2008 to support the fundraising efforts to complete the Third Street and Western Avenue portion of the Muskegon downtown renovation. This initiative offers donors the opportunity to purchase items with their name (paving brick, bench, planter) and will forever serve as a lasting legacy to the community's effort to re-build Downtown Muskegon.
- As part of Third Street Promenade, Mike and Kay Olthoff generously funded the Olthoff Street Stage built on the Commons between the Sidock Building and the Culinary Institute of Michigan.
- October of 2009 saw the placement of a full-size bronze sculpture of Charles H. Hackley, seated on a bench overlooking Hackley Park, which he gave to the city over 100 years ago. This sculpture is supported by a gift from former Foundation Chair Peter M. Turner, who had the vision that Muskegon's founding philanthropist might want to keep an eye over Muskegon's downtown rebirth.