OREGON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: The Eternal Indian
Oregon Chamber of Commerce issued the following announcement on Sept. 10.
More commonly known as the Black Hawk Statue, the Eternal Indian was constructed by Lorado Taft at his Eagle’s Nest artists’ colony in 1910.
• Weather and the passing of a century have weakened the statue, and now it must be repaired or it could be lost forever.
• State funds available to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are not enough to repair the statue.
• The Illinois Conservation Foundation and local community volunteers are raising private funding to cover the final costs of restoring this piece of American art history.
• The Eternal Indian was constructed by pouring concrete into forms.
• Built in frigid December temperatures, it required complex heating and pouring techniques never before tried in 1910.
• Lorado Taft brought Chicago Art Institute sculptor John Prasuhn in to help develop these new techniques.
• Local heavy equipment manufacturer E. D. Etnyre also contributed time, equipment and materials.
• One hundred years later, Etnyre’s company is once again contributing to efforts to preserve this historic statue.
• The Eternal Indian is a treasured landmark to the Oregon, Illinois community.
• Lorado built it to pay homage to the Native American heritage of the Rock River Valley.
• Thousands of students and art enthusiasts visit Lowden State Park every year to see the statue.
• Local residents anxiously await the restoration and return of the “Black Hawk” statue.
• The statue has been damaged by snow, ice and even lightning.
• It has stood for 100 years, so wear and tear is inevitable.
• Landmarks Illinois classified it as one of the most endangered historic landmarks in the state.
• The state legislature made a $350,000 matching grant to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources — however, we now need to raise $225,000 in private money to match.
• The Illinois Conservation Foundation and local community
volunteers need your help to make it to our goal.
• Planning has been completed. A contract to begin restoration is
ready once all funds are secured.
• Chicago-based engineering firm Simpson, Gumpertz and Hager is
contributing their expertise in overseeing the reconstruction.
• Quality Restorations, Inc. will complete the restoration, in some
cases using the original molds Taft and Prasuhn created together.
• On July 18, the Etnyre family foundation donated $100,000 in
addition to the $25,000 that Oregon Together has already raised.
• Local foundations have pledged another $55,000.
• All that stands in the way of saving the Eternal Indian is $35,000.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The Illinois Conservation Foundation cannot save this iconic piece of art without your generosity and support. Your donations directly contribute to the preservation of the Eternal Indian. By sharing this story, you also can give others the opportunity to help us save this treasured landmark of the Rock River Valley. Will you help us protect it?
For more information or to make a donation--www.ilcf.org
Original source can be found here.