DETROIT (WWJ) – A little known architectural sculptor whose work has long been admired in Detroit is the subject of a soon-to-be-released documentary film.
His name was Corrado Parducci and he may have done more than any other person to make Detroit beautiful.
“Parducci was actually the person who did a lot of sculpture that gave a lot of the buildings, such as the Guardian Building and Penobscot Building, a lot of their distinctive features,” director Jack Johnson told WWJ’s Marie Osborne.
Johnson’s film “Parducci: The Man Who Made Detroit Beautiful,” explores the life of a man many of us have never even heard of, despite walking by his works nearly every day.
“The federal courthouse, the stone structure that goes around the building, its 8-feet by 40-feet panels, those are all done by Parducci,” he said.
Jennifer Baross, the film’s producer, said Detroit is filled with six decades of Parducci’s extraordinary work.
“There’s about 600 commissions over the course of his lifetime, the bulk of that being within Detroit’s building boom,” she said. “On the Penobscot Building, Parducci created this 22-foot Indian that kind of acts as a keystone for that building. And on the Guardian Building, he did those two Indians that feature safety and security.”
Parducci, an Italian-American immigrant, came to Detroit in 1924 at the request of Albert Kahn and saw eye-popping opportunities.
“He came here and he saw that there was such a financial explosion going on in the city at the time, that he decided that he would stay here,” Johnson said, adding that Parducci lived here until his death in 1981.
So, why don’t more of us know about Parducci?
“Parducci was a very humble man and he really chose to have the recognition go to the architects,” Baross said.
“Parducci: The Man Who Made Detroit Beautiful” is expected to be released by the end of the year.