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Mayor's Office

2004 Media Releases


Date:
September 23, 2004
For More Information Contact:
Lynn Johnson, Parks and Recreation, 441-8265
Susan Rodenburg, Lincoln Cares, 421-1401
Dave Norris, Citizen Information Center, 441-7547


“Lincoln Cares” Donors Provide for Historic Statue Restorations
Two Antelope Park monuments being restored through community donation program

Prominent Lincoln monuments “War and Victory ” and “Pioneer Woman ” are getting a facelift, thanks to voluntary donations collected through the “Lincoln Cares ” program that allows LES customers to add one dollar to their bill each month for park improvements.

Perhaps most familiar to Lincolnites is “War and Victory, ” a 25-foot cast-concrete monument located in Antelope Park just west of Auld Recreation Center. Sculpted in 1936, “War and Victory ” was an art project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a program initiated during Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency to create jobs and stimulate the economy during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The monument has a six-foot soldier standing on each of the four sides – symbolizing the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and World War I – the four major conflicts experienced by the United States up to the 1930s. Looking down from atop the column is a figure representing victory.

The “Pioneer Woman ” statue, also cast concrete, is located in the Memory Garden of Antelope Park, and faces east at 33rd and Melrose, just north of Sheridan Boulevard. Erected in 1935 by the Lincoln Women’s Club, the statue honors all pioneer women of Nebraska.

“I’m thrilled to be able to watch again as our “Lincoln Cares” program helps bring another dream to fruition, ” Mayor Seng said. “The generous donations contributed by ‘Lincoln Cares’ supporters are going a long way in helping ensure that our country’s history will be preserved and cherished by the citizens of Lincoln and the generations to follow. ”

Nationally known artist Ellis Luis Burman sculpted both monuments. After working for the WPA, Burman settled in California and became best known for his work in the film industry. His studio designed the masks used in “Phantom of the Opera ” and “Planet of the Apes. ” Burman, who died in 1974, also did “Smoke Signal ” in Pioneers Park and “Rebecca at the Well, ” formerly in Sunken Gardens.

The City contracted with Jensen Conservation Services of Omaha to clean and reset the surface, apply water repellent and masonry strengthener coatings and restore bronze plaques. Total cost for restoring both statues is estimated at $22,500. Jensen Conservation Services other projects have included artwork at Sheldon Art Gallery and the Sower at the State Capitol.

The restoration work, which began September 7 on “Pioneer Woman, ” is now completed. Restoration will continue on “War and Liberty ” until late November or early December, said Lynn Johnson, Director of Parks and Recreation.

“We are very fortunate to have Mayda and Robert Jensen do this work. They are very talented and have done similar projects across the country, ” Johnson said. “In the past 10 years, there has been much interest in restoring these historic and significant pieces of public art. But it wasn’t until ‘Lincoln Cares’ provided the money that we were able to accomplish it. ”

“Lincoln Cares, ” which started in February, 2003, gives LES customers the opportunity to voluntarily add one dollar each month to their LES bill for park improvements. Donations have been allocated to the Sunken Gardens Restoration Project; air conditioning for the Ager Indoor Playground and Bethany Park Shelter and scholarships for low-income youth to participate in park programs.

Beginning this year, LES customers who use automatic bank billing may also participate by calling LES at 475-4211 or accessing the necessary authorization forms on its web site at www.les.com. (click on community programs for the “Lincoln Cares ” Program agreement).

For the second consecutive year, Lincoln Cares will receive corporate matching funds from TierOne Bank Foundation and World’s Foremost Bank (Cabela’s VISA Operation, which provide a 50-cent match for every dollar contributed (up to $30,000 each).

For more information on “Lincoln Cares, ” contact the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department at 441-8264 or visit the City web site at lincoln.ne.gov, keyword Cares.

(Digital photos available upon request)


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