Unity (Lincoln Statue and Speech sculpture) - Joliet, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member adgorn
N 41° 31.795 W 088° 05.504
16T E 408921 N 4598160
Quick Description: Life-size statue of Lincoln next to a steel screen showcasing an excerpt from the House Divided speech, titled "Unity."
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 7/23/2019 6:56:24 AM
Waymark Code: WM110D2
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member wayfrog
Views: 4

Long Description:
From the Chicago Tribune 9/21/2010:
"Abraham Lincoln took center stage Monday at the intersection of Charlotte Avenue and Center Street in Joliet. City crews lifted the life-size statue of Lincoln and put him in place next to a steel screen showcasing an excerpt from one of Lincoln’s speeches.

Joliet’s Friends of Community Public Art was awarded a $40,000 state grant in 2008 to help fund an $85,800 Lincoln project which included the statue, screen, workshops, art classes for children and some landscaping. The City of Joliet and private donors covered the remaining costs.

The statue was part of a statewide effort to commemorate last year’s bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth.

Joliet’s Lincoln statue was one of 25 public art projects and special events in 2008 to receive a state grant for the bicentennial. Illinois doled out a total of $700,000 to fund projects, which also included a traveling exhibit, improvements to the Lincoln-Douglas Debate site, a Lincoln Bicentennial bike tour and a documentary on Lincoln’s legal career.

On Monday, the finished statue of Lincoln giving a speech and the screen with the text from his “A House Divided” speech were set in place along Lincoln Highway. Lincoln visited Joliet in 1856, two years before his famous speech. He is believed to have visited and spoken at a hotel that was located just a few blocks from where his statue now stands.

“Lincoln, having prevented the division of the United States and having freed the slaves, has had an absolute impact on everyone in Joliet,” said Kathleen Ferrell, founder of Joliet’s Friends of Community Public Art.

The statue had been on display at the Joliet Area Historical Museum awaiting the completion of the steel screen. The entire project took about seven months to complete, Ferrell said. Once the wavy steel screen was complete, it was left outside for several months, allowing the material, or Cor-Ten steel, to naturally rust. Ferrell said the weathered steel coats itself in rust allowing the sculpture to turn an earthy color and be virtually maintenance free.

Sculptor Kathleen Scarboro designed the statue and came up with the idea for a curvy steel screen with parts of Lincoln’s speech in perforated lettering. She was able to purchase clay masks showing the likeness of Lincoln’s face to help aid in the design of the sculpture. Marsha Lega, a metal sculptor, came up with the design for the screen and the placement of the letters on it. The display is entitled “Unity.”

“I named it that to show how important it is for there to be unity,” said Scarboro, the lead artist for the project."

“I believe the government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall, but I do expect it will cease to be divided …. Our cause then, must be entrusted to …. Those whose hands are free, whose heart are in the work, who do not care for the result …. If we stand firm, we shall not fail. Wise counsels may accelerate, or mistakes delay it, but sooner or later, the victory is sure to come.”

— Abraham Lincoln, from his “A House Divided” speech

I knew from some time ago that there was a Lincoln statue at the Joliet Area Historical Museum. I visited the museum but it was not there. Luckily just saw it while driving around town seeking other waymarks!
Location Type: Statue/Bust/Portrait

Property Type: Public

Date of Event: 9/21/2010

Location Notes:
Intersection of Charlotte Avenue and Center Street in Joliet.

URL for Additional Information: [Web Link]

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