Flint-area blogger Scottr has uncovered the fate of the Genesee Valley frog. It has been liberated from its highly commercialized indoor home, freed from the Muzak and fluorescent lighting by the Ruth Mott Foundation:
"The Friendly Frog has found a new home at Applewood! Purchased from the Children’s Museum in late 2004, guests will find The Friendly Frog just inside the estate’s Lot K entrance gate on a brand new “lily pad”! The smiling amphibian was created out of terrazzo and concrete by renowned sculptor Marshall Fredericks (1908-98). Working from studios in Royal Oak and Bloomfield, Fredericks left a rich legacy of famous pieces that include The Spirit of Detroit to mark a chief government building for that city, and Christ on the Cross at Indian River. A bronze replica of The Friendly Frog is on view at Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids. A cast of the frog is owned by the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum at Saginaw Valley State University.
"The Friendly Frog’s first home was the Genesee Valley Shopping Center, which commissioned it in 1970 near the time of its opening. The frog’s richly textured surface and gracefully slanted back naturally invite climbing and sliding. Children strolling through Genesee Valley found it irresistible, but eventually the shopping mall decided to part with it. In 1986, Genesee Valley turned the frog over to the Children’s Museum, then housed at the North Bank Center in downtown Flint. The museum was able to put it on exhibit there, introducing it to a new generation of children. But when the Children’s Museum moved to its current quarters at 1602 West Third Avenue, the staff was advised that the floor would not sustain the weight. Carefully stored by Hank Fracalossi at C & S Motors since 1993, the sculpture was brought to Applewood in 2004. The Friendly Frog quickly became a favorite spot for photographs and brought back many fond memories for visitors. Its new 'pad' includes a colorful slip-resistant surface, water features, seating and pots of beautiful flowers. Be sure to bring the little ones in your life to Applewood this summer to meet The Friendly Frog, join The Friendly Frog Fan Club and create new memories!"