Father Francisco Garces Statue - Bakersfield, CA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member fresgo
N 35° 23.194 W 119° 01.125
11S E 316643 N 3917784
Quick Description: When visiting up close be careful of traffic!
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 9/16/2010 9:45:32 PM
Waymark Code: WM9Q1T
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 8

Long Description:
The statue of Francisco Garces was sculpted by a regionally significant Depression-era artist John Palo-Kangas and funded by the WPA Federal Arts Project. The figure of Garces is over 16 feet tall and the statue as a whole, with its inscribed and illustrated base, stands over 22 feet tall. The statue was constructed from a single 24-ton block of limestone. The stylized Moderne sculpture portrays the standing, robed missionary-explorer. The statue's base includes inscriptions, artwork, and the sandstone State Registered Historic Landmark #277 dedication plaque.

?The statue was sculpted in 1939 and placed in the center of Garces Circle and was once a prominent feature of US Route 99, The circle was built by the Division of Highways in 1935 as the neighborhood began to grow and traffic along the highway was increasing. The circle was used for years as a public park.

In 1955, with traffic congestion still a problem a bridge was constructed over the circle and the statue was moved to its current location 55 feet from the center. US Route 99 was moved in 1964 to a new freeway facility and the highway is now known as State Route 204. The statue has survived over the years and is currently housed in a protective shell due to construction of a new bridge - a project I have had the pleasure to work on since 2005.

Project type: Sculpture/Statue

Date built or created: 1939

Location: Garces Circle

City: Bakersfield, CA

Condition: In need of renovation/repair

Website for additional information: Not listed

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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lyonden_ut visited Father Francisco Garces Statue - Bakersfield, CA 1/16/2011 lyonden_ut visited it
Queens Blessing visited Father Francisco Garces Statue - Bakersfield, CA 12/25/2010 Queens Blessing visited it
fresgo visited Father Francisco Garces Statue - Bakersfield, CA 9/17/2010 fresgo visited it

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