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COBWEB CORNERS: Year 1925 - sculptor chosen for Palmer statue

By Mel McFarland

        In March, 1924 a decision was made to let Nathan D. Potter of New York City design the statue of Colorado Springs founder General William Palmer.
       Several other sculptors had been contacted as the project developed. One of those was Gutzon Borglum, a young sculptor who would be involved in a much larger project: Mount Rushmore.
Potter was thought to be the foremost equestrian sculptor in the country. He had traveled here for a meeting with the commissioners of the project with sketches of a proposal. The sculptor left with a contract, which specified a preliminary model by June 1, a one-third-size model by October 1, a full size model by May 1, 1925, and a completed statue and pedestal in place by Aug. 1, 1925.
       This time, friends of General Palmer were asked to assist the sculptor in assuring that the statue would be an accurate representation of the general, as well as the horse he would be riding. The committee also selected a group of the authorities to assist Potter in his project and to assure its accuracy. A close friend of General Palmer, who had served with him in the military and lived in New York City, would act as a critic, working in close contact with the artist.
       A large collection of photographs was assembled, in addition to the personal information.
       The project progressed, each step taken as to the contract. When the models were finished, the public approval was much better than the earlier ideas. Not everyone was pleased with the project, but it continued. The major discussion was still where to put the statue, but the plan remained to put it at the corner of Acacia Park, at the intersection of Platte and Nevada.
       While the work progressed, School District 11 students donated thousands of pennies to be melted into the statue.

       Editor's note: This column follows a Cobweb Corners leading up to the statue sculptor being hired. To read it, click this link.

(Posted 6/17/14; Opinion: Cobweb Corners)

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