A 9-foot-tall statue of Abraham
Lincoln was unveiled Thursday afternoon during an
informal ceremony in Union Square Park .
The statue, created by Decatur artist John McClary,
depicts Lincoln facing east toward Washington, bracing
himself against the wind. With his right hand, Lincoln
holds his coat closed. His left hand is extended in a
The bronze figure, which stands atop a pedestal that
extends the total height of the piece to about 13 feet,
balances Lincoln's tenacity with his compassion, said
McClary, who unveiled the statue himself.
"He is grasping his coat against the weather, but it
is also a symbol of his commitment to the Constitution,"
McClary said. "His other hand is open - his willingness
to appeal to the American people."
The front of the pedestal includes an inscription
taken from Lincoln's first inaugural address. It reads:
"Why should there not be a patient confidence in the
ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or
equal hope in the world?"
McClary, 70, ended up sculpting a different statue
than the one he agreed to when he was offered the
contract under Gov. George Ryan's administration, about
five years ago.
Initially, McClary was going to show Lincoln digging
with a shovel. He wanted to call it "Groundbreaking for
"I liked it a whole lot, but with the new
administration coming in - during the process, you meet
with a lot of different people - I had to start all over
again. But I'm very pleased," he said.
Although the process, from conception to completion,
took five years, McClary said making the statue took
about one year.
McClary was paid approximately $240,000 for his work,
according to Dave Blanchette, spokesman for the Illinois
Historic Preservation Agency, which oversees the park.
Union Square Park, across from the Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Museum on Sixth Street, is expected to open
Saturday. The statue is at the southeast corner.
Pete Sherman can be reached at 788-1539 or
Please... wrote at 6/30/2006
Lord, Springfield, let that poor man rest!! Lincoln must
be rollin' in his grave! How many nickels can you milk
out of one dead president??
Lincolned Out!! wrote at
6/30/2006 7:58:36 AM
agree with Please... Enough of Lincoln! Looking for
Lincoln?? He's buried in Spfld. It's over! Doesn't
Illinois something else the can show pride in or attract
tourist to, other than a dead president? Gheesh! Are you
trying to save the capital city? Our Governor done blew
that! Even Taylorville.....Lincoln and a statue of a
pig???? And they are not even the capital. You would
think they would have something to be proud of on their
own city. Those $ could have been well spent where they
needed to be! We have people.....needless to what the
Governor says....who are losing their jobs. Get real!
Instead of having your nose in the air and touring
Lincoln Presidential Library Museum and now the Union
Square Park.....be more productive and creative. I
travel out of state !!
1/4 mill waste wrote at 6/30/2006
a joke! total waste of money...take the 240k and give it
to the homeless!!!!!!
Ticked wrote at 6/30/2006 8:01:39
I agree with Please! And to pay some guy 240,000 to make
a statue? Geez, I could think of better ways to spend
that kind of money. Yeah he is a legend, Lincoln is and
the history of him is great but doesn't this state think
that the new library, which people get charged to go
into, and all the other hystorical monuments we have of
him good enough! Us poor tax payers pay enough in this
state, why do we need yet another statue or monument of
another dead presedint? 240,000??? Goodness no wonder
this state is so poor and most of the people in it
Enough wrote at 6/30/2006 8:14:25
one is going to debate that Lincoln was a great man, did
great things and is the pride and job of Springfield.
But it's like we're saying NOTHING else ever happened
here and NO ONE else was ever a Springfieldian who
deserved recognition. Come on enough is enough.
historian wrote at 6/30/2006
I agree that "Lincoln-mania" has struck central Illinois
rather hard lately, I still think it's important to
remember his life and what he did for this area and our
country. It is part of history, and we must learn from
history so that we can do better in the future.
PS..Lincoln'd out, a lot of people come from other
states and even other countries to see our Lincoln
sites. I work at Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site
in the summers, and we get people who are from all over
the world who come just to see the site where Lincoln
good2go wrote at 6/30/2006
still wonder why they had to add "Abraham Lincoln" to
the name of our airport, and the Renaissance downtown is
now the "Lincoln-something" hotel, isn't it? Next thing
you know, we'll have Lake Abe instead of Lake
Whitmore wrote at 6/30/2006
was an inspiring man. Too bad all he inspires the city
to do is try and bank in on him to get tourist $$$$$.
Wouldn't it be great if we had something in Springfield
that made it worthy of visiting beside overdone Abe
sites? So, when do get our cheesy Abe Linclon theme
park? It's probably already being budgeted.
To historian wrote at 6/30/2006
right we should remember Lincoln and learn from him. But
what we shouldn't be doing is cashing in on him, which
is all we've been doing. If I'm wrong then why are we
always hearing about how great the museum is and all the
tourist revenue it brings in?