By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — The statue honoring former Mayor Orville Hubbard has a new permanent home: on the grounds of the Dearborn Historical Museum.
The statue, which was removed from in front of the former Dearborn City hall six months ago, was relocated to the museum property, 915 S. Brady, March 31.
The museum was chosen as the location to place Hubbard in context because he is a historical figure, Dearborn Public Information Director Mary Laundroche said.
“Orville Hubbard was mayor from 1942 through 1977, which is a long time ago, and also a long time for someone to have served in the same public office,” Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. said. “The historical museum is the appropriate site to acknowledge his place in Dearborn’s history.”
Museum personnel refused to comment on the statue and said, “all calls are being referred to the city’s Public Information Department.”
The move came after the non-profit Artspace bought the building and transformed it into 53 apartment units with work space for artists and their families.
Laundroche said that moving the statue and War Memorial off the property was part the Artspace sale agreement in 2014.
The 10-foot statue of Hubbard was first displayed in 1989. It was created through a grassroots fundraising campaign. It also included small donations from residents who wanted to recognize Hubbard’s contributions to city.
During his time as mayor, Hubbard helped build Camp Dearborn and kept the city clean and safe. As well, he was also known for his thoughts on segregation and use of racial slurs.
When the suggested move was made in October, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Michigan Director Fatina Abdrabboh said she agreed with the decision.
“Dearborn has grown as a city since Hubbard’s time as mayor, and our statues should reflect that,” she said. “Moving the statue to the museum is a great move because we shouldn’t forget our history completely. We should learn from it instead.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)