Symbol to get face lift. Why?

Symbol to get face lift. Why?

800px-Rockford_SymbolROCKFORD, IL – Rockford’s big, red, ugly–we still can’t figure out what it is–sculpture will get a fresh coat of paint on Tuesday. Why? We don’t know.

Symbol, which is located along the east bank of the Rock River south of the Auburn Street bridge, is turning 35 this year (BFD). In honor of that crews will begin work to paint the sculpture on Tuesday.

Combined Taping and Painting of 15561 Bombay Boulevard in South Beloit will handle the job.  South Beloit? Not Local? WTF? OMG! I guess Rockford has figured out that just over the border lies the promised land, Beloit . This company will begin work at 7 a.m. Tuesday. The work is expected to last a week or a month, weather and bums sleeping permitting.

The Rockford Park District worked with Dick Behr to identify the original paint color, often referred to as “Anarchy Red” or “Rundown Red”, in order to match the original color as closely as possible with current paint products. This took Dick about a month and many many meetings with lots of cups of local coffee from downtown Rockford to figure it out.

Symbol is a 47-foot tall, 30 ton steel sculpture created specifically for Rockford by Alexander Liberman. It was originally placed at the intersection of State and Wyman streets in 1978. It moved to its current location in October 1984 because according to local political folklore, “it was too ugly to have downtown”.  The last time it was painted was in 2002. This is costing taxpayers about $150,000!

“It’s pornographic. It’s offensive,” Tajiddin Muwwakkil told RKFD News

“I don’t think it should be painted. It’s not necessary,” another woman passing by said.

“Symbol looks like a giant weiner being attacked by a dragonfly.  Sometimes it looks like a woman taking off her dress which turns into a wild animal that walks away,” said local 3rd grader Robert Johnskin.

People upset with the image don’t understand the message but one parent said she does. “It means hope and prosperity. It starts off as a small red robot and it ends up as red a dog.  Think about what it’s really saying. Read between the lines,” Wanda Cooper said.

– Jay Vannigan

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