The Stargate Hypothesis: Hart Plaza, the Pyramids of Giza, and Chad Stuemke

Transcending by David Barr

2011 saw the release of an unusual self-published book called Stargate Detroit: Transcending the Gateways to Freedom by Chad Stuemke. Building on earlier work in his book The Mystcal Mitten, Stuemke claims that there is a range of esoteric symbolism in the sculptures and layout of Hart Plaza (a large civic center on the river in downtown Detroit), making it a "Cosmic Temple" in the heart of the city. If only at the level of symbolism, Stueke presents some intriguing observations:

  • Hart Plaza is located at the spot where Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac landed at Detroit and began construction of Fort Ponchartrain du Detroit.
  • Isamu Noguchi, designer of Hart Plaza, appears to have laid out Hart Plaza to mirror the arrangement of the Pyramids at Giza, themselves apparently arranged to mirror the stars in the constellation Orion.
  • Building on the Orion connection, he shows similarities between the Horace and Son fountain and traditional depictions of Nuit, mother of Orion, and notes that Horus was Orion's father.
  • Noguchi is quoted as saying that he designed the fountain to represent our connection with outer space, and that his obelisk-like Pylon related to space flight.
  • Noguchi apparently spent some time in Egypt during a 2 year pilgrimage around the world, and came to Detroit to design Hart Plaza soon thereafter. He also was familiar with the book The Secret of the Great Pyramid, dealing among other things with mystically symbolic proportions and measurements in the pyramids.
  • Edward Dwight, sculptor of The Gateway to Freedom sculpture honoring the Underground Railroad, was the first African-American to complete the US astronaut training program.
  • Many of the sculptures and monuments in Hart Plaza have shapes, names, or meanings explicitly ascribed by their creators that play on the concept of gateways.

Stories and Speculation

Where to start? Beginning with Stuemke's main focus, Hart Plaza could serve as a site of power for mystical workings, or even as a literal gateway, whether through space or into the spirit realm. But in honor of Stuemke's "sure, that sounds good!" panache, let's run farther with this. Working with the Egyptian motif, Noguchi could have built a hidden ritual chamber into the complex, or possibly an entire network of them. Hell, pop a black-market mummy into a poured-concrete sarcophogus, ready to terrorize the Ren Cen when a construction accident disturbs its rest. Alternately, given the ties Stuemke suggests with other aspects of the city, spread outward along the river and out to the New Center, maybe Hart Plaza could serve as a collector which, when the stars are right, will mystically supercharge the city through Modernist feng shui, returning it to national prominence, while raising the profile of the Nain Rouge and Snake Goddess into public presences. Right or wrong, Stuemke really put a bubbling pot of Myth on the stove with his book.