By Paul Waldschmidt
On Friday, project organizers briefed a group of community leaders, potential contributors, and supporters who want to build “The American,” a projected $38 million monument celebrating the state’s Indian heritage and culture.
At one time the proposed site was Holmes Park, seven miles northwest of downtown Tulsa.
That site has been abandoned, but “we’ve looked at and are considering several sites,” said Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith, who moderated the meeting.
“It is ready to go if we can get the fundraising together to build it,” she said. “It will be a game changer for this area.”
They've been talking about building this statue for years still nothing, I for one would like to see it built. Quit talking...pick a site and build it.
So the organizers lost their original site. It sounds as if they haven't started raising funds yet. Are they hoping some city will endorse them and bail them out with public funds?
The survey results they cite also seem questionable. For instance:
Longtime readers may remember my thoughts on The American. They haven't changed. A giant statue of a near-naked Indian holding a stereotypical eagle isn't the way to go.
Also, I'm kind of down on the whole idea of colossal monuments--unless perhaps they're embedded in the landscape like the Crazy Horse Memorial. How is a giant statue--or a giant casino tower, for that matter--consistent with traditional Native values? Answer: It isn't. Things like this are more akin to visual pollution than a visual treat.
For more on the subject, see Best Indian Monuments to Topple.