By Brad Jennings
OREGON – The scaffolding is finally being removed from the Black Hawk Statue near Oregon as a long restoration process comes to a close.
Crews began the process of removing the special scaffolding used on the project last week, and it was completely removed by Wednesday. The fencing around the statue was still in place.
The statue has been under wraps for much of the past couple of years while funding was sought to restore it. Created by Lorado Taft and completed in 1911, the statue was in desperate need of repair.
“On behalf of Oregon Together, thanks to all of the people who donated to preserve our beloved statue,” said John Lindhorst, president of Oregon Together.
The work was originally scheduled to be completed in early November 2019, but was pushed back.
The Illinois Conservation Foundation is overseeing the work – and writing the checks from money donated locally as well as state matching funds. Locally, $225,000 was raised, including $100,000 donated last year by E.D. Etnyre & Co.
The original forms were used to pour new concrete for the arms of the statue, Lindhorst said. Workers even brought red granite from the same northern Wisconsin quarry for the restoration that Taft used.
The next step will be the re-design of the grounds around the statue, which should happen this summer. That will include all signage and parking. Lindhorst said the funds are already “locked in” for that work.