The bronze statue of the former president has been approved by the North Dakota Historical Society and is due to arrive in August
A bronze statue of Franklin D Roosevelt has been approved by the North Dakota Historical Society for its new presidential library. The statue, which was first proposed in 1996, will travel to Fargo, N.D., in August and be installed at a location yet to be determined, said North Dakota Historical Society president Corbin Smith.
The architect who built the statue has yet to be determined. Rockefeller Center artwork consultant Alan Weinstein has been contacted, Smith said. Weinstein’s major historical works include Lincoln and the Vietnam war memorials in Washington DC and the Madrid bullfighting site.
The governor of North Dakota, Doug Burgum, said the work is symbolic of the state’s pledge to one of the nation’s highest priorities in its upcoming centennial celebration. North Dakota was among the first to join the union in 1889.
“We cannot do much to prepare for the centennial except reflect on the past so this statue will certainly be a symbol of that effort,” Burgum said in a statement.
The statue, created by Ron Manwaring, will sit in the public parking lot by the primary entrance of the presidential library, Burgum said.
Kenneth Stevenson, chairman of the North Dakota Heritage Foundation, said the statue’s design was created with the individual qualities of Roosevelt in mind. The sculptor wanted a representation of Roosevelt’s physical likeness as well as his good will, loyalty and morals, Stevenson said.
“Roosevelt was more than a president; he was a role model for people in North Dakota,” said Stevens. “This statue will truly reflect the legacy of Roosevelt’s determination to protect and improve the lives of North Dakotans.”
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The first Franklin D Roosevelt statue was installed on the bridge at Grant, N.D., on 18 April 1928, the mayor of Grant, Lynn Meuli, told the local Mitchell Daily Republic.
The mayor said the sculpture was designed to represent Roosevelt’s honesty and integrity in addition to the values of his steadfast belief in living by a green, strong American standard.
The statue has been on display in Arizona since May 2010. It will move to the North Dakota project once construction is complete.
The North Dakota project will cost around $1.7m, Smith said. An anonymous donor contributed $400,000 towards the project.
The statue of Theodore Roosevelt was placed in the same parking lot as the Roosevelt statue in Arizona in 2002.
Roosevelt also visited North Dakota, but for different reasons. In 1908 he came to the western state as part of the federal push to expand the westward expansion of American immigration. Roosevelt, who died in 1945, is the only US president who enjoyed a second president.
In 2010 the monument to the state’s first president was put up on the north slope of Badlands, in the same rough terrain that served as Roosevelt’s inspiration for the construction of this statue.