Naming ceremony set for center

Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE – A popular city landmark will get a new name Friday.

An invite-only re-dedication ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m. that day to re-christen the Wyandotte Arts Center, 81 Chestnut, as The James R. DeSana Center for Arts and Culture, after Councilman James DeSana, who spearheaded the move to start the facility at the location, the former Masonic Temple, after the city purchased it in 2008.

The city council voted on the move in June after a recommendation from Mayor Joseph Peterson, who cited the center’s value to the community as a place where residents can showcase their various talents. The center is home to the Downriver Council for the Arts, an arts organization and gallery serving 21 Downriver cities.

It will be the second such honor for DeSana, who also had a street in the city named after him.

The name change is the third for the city, following The Benjamin F. Yack Arena, named after the city’s first recreation director, and the William R. Copeland Center, named for State Rep. William Copeland.

DeSana, 81, is in his third term on the council, after serving from 2001 to 2005 and from 1957 to 1961. He was mayor from 1961 to 1969, from 1987 to 1997 and from 2005 to 2009. He was a Wayne County commissioner from 1969 to 1976 and a state senator from 1976 to 1986.