Dearborn statue of controversial former Mayor Hubbard gets moved

- The Dearborn statue of former Mayor Orville Hubbard was taken down in 2015 but came out of storage this spring.

It was put on display in front of the Dearborn Historical Museum - but now it's being moved again.

Hubbard served the city from 1942 to 1978. His place in history remains controversial.

"He did a lot of good things for the city but in doing those good things he caused us problems for the city too," said Jack Tate, Dearborn Historical Museum curator. "And I don't just mean in race relations, he caused disturbances with the Ford Motor Company because of the taxations. But overall a lot of good and a lot of bad - like any other mayor."

And it appears his statue is carrying that controversy as for the second time in less than six months, it is being moved.

"It's a problem I wish I wouldn't have inherited but here I am," Tate said.

From 1989 to 2015 the statue stood in front of City Hall.

"It was removed there not because anyone was yelling about it," Tate said. "It was removed because the property was sold to art space."

After a 17-month storage period, the statue was placed in front of the Dearborn Historical Museum.

Back in March the statue of Hubbard was placed on Brady Street north of Michigan Avenue in the parking lot of the Dearborn Museum Office.

But as soon the statue went up, controversy started. Phone calls saying we shouldn't celebrate a mayor who is so controversial, others said we can't ignore a part of history so a compromise was reached.

A group of people said we will move the statue, but they didn't move it very far for now just down the sidewalk in the parking lot of the museum.

Jack Tate was one of five people from the city making this decision.

"Moving him from the street back to the parking lot where it is facing the street, still waving to people, we were trying to satisfy both groups," Tate said.

But Hubbard won't be unpacking his bags for long. Even this move is temporary; his next move will be indoors.

"In an exhibit on the social and cultural evolution of Dearborn," Tate said. "And that is where his permanent home will be."

Some question why he should be on display at all. To that, the museum curator says it’s never wise to ignore history no matter how ugly it may seem.

"It gives you a wonderful opportunity not to repeat the same errors," he said.

Hubbard's next move were told it is still likely a couple years away, until the city raises private funds to move him inside the museum.

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