(junction of Washtenaw Avenue and Cross Street)
|The Demetrius Ypsilanti Statue is located at the corner of Washtenaw Avenue and Cross Street just across from Eastern Michigan University's McKenny Union. The statue was donated to the City of Ypsilanti by the American Hellenic Progressive Association in 1928. The artist that made the statue was Greek sculptor Christopher Nastos.
The main function of AHEPA at the time was to get new immigrants naturalized, teach them English, and move them into American society as quickly as possible. Later, AHEPA was involved in funding and awarding scholarships for supporting education programs
Those present at the dedication included Michigan Governor Fred W. Green, Consul General George De Pasta of Greece, Congressman Earl C. Michener and Archbishop Damascianos from Corinth, Greece.
President Charles McKenny of the Normal College presided at the ceremonies. Immediately after the talk by Governor Green the Greek National Athem was played and then Dean Alfange, Supreme President of AHEPA, presented to the City of Ypsilanti the marble bust of Demetrius Ypsilanti.
Demetrius Ypsilanti (1793-1832) was a field general in the Greek army during the country's struggle for independence from the Ottoman empire. A highlight of his heroism was his successful defense of the Citadel of Argos in 1824 where, with 220 soldiers, he held the fortress against an army of eight thousand. Having exhausted his provisions, he escaped one night beyond the enemy lines with his entire command, having lost not a single man.
Judge Woodward was so fascinated by the military successes of General Ypsilanti he recommended, in 1825, that the new village be named after him. Other names suggested at the time were “Waterville” and “Palmyra.”
In 1995 the sculpture was restored and re-dedicated, with support from AHEPA. Attending the re-dedication were AHEPA members, as well as representatives from the Ypsilanti Heritage Foundation, U.S. Rep. Lynn Rivers and representatives of the cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.