Coast Guard City Monument – Traverse City, Michigan - Atlas Obscura

Coast Guard City Monument

A humble ode to the heroic air rescue efforts of the United States Coast Guard serving on the Great Lakes.  


Dedicated on September 6, 2018, the Coast Guard City Monument in Traverse City, Michigan honors and celebrates the United States Coast Guard’s presence in this lakeside city since 1946. Traverse City is one of 21 communities formally recognized by Congress as Coast Guard Cities and serves as the base for rescue aircraft operations over all of Lake Michigan, as well as the majority of Lake Huron and Lake Superior.

The sculpture at the center of the monument is based on a design submitted by a student from Traverse City West High School, entitled “Guardian.” It depicts the artist’s representation of a MH-65 “Dolphin” air rescue helicopter.

These aircraft were the type deployed at the station from 2011 until the summer of 2017. The MH-65 helicopters have since been replaced by MH-60T “Jayhawk” helicopters. The rescue aircraft are stationed at the city’s coast guard station, which is linked to Cherry Capital Airport.

The monument, including related site landscaping and masonry work, cost approximately $60,000 to complete, all of which came from donations, local groups and charities, and volunteers.

Know Before You Go

Parking is available at meters along East Front Street. The monument is located in Mini Park, west of the junction of US 31 North (Grandview Parkway) and East Front Street.

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