The Official Rockford Sculpture
Rockford IL, home of Symbol, was founded by two white men and a slave. Germanicus Kent, Thatcher Blake, and their servant Lewis Lemon settled in the northern Illinois area between 1834 and 1835. Throughout the late 1800s and into the American Industrial Revolution, Rockford grew from a town to a city. The early economic growth in Rockford was established by the manufacturing industry. Furniture, machinery, fastener hardware, and packaging all played a part in Rockford's development.
Like many cities, after the 1960s, Rockford lost a great amount of manufacturing jobs as a result of outsourcing. Urban sprawl uprooted Rockford's focus on the river business district. Since the late sixties, downtown has served as a neutral ground between the expansion of the east side's business development and the preservation of the west side's historic neighborhoods. The east side continued to grow in accordance to urban sprawl, while the west side continued to absorb the minority population growth. Rockford continues to be a mid-sized midwestern city divided by the Rock River and cultural segregation.
In the late seventies, city leaders sought a symbolic icon to bridge the economic and cultural division between east and west Rockford. State funding provided financial grants to ensure Rockford's downtown remained the city's center for arts and creative endeavors. The city hired Alexander Liberman to design and build a sculpture that would sustain Rockford's downtown. The sculpture was placed at the corner of State St. and Wyman St. in 1978. Six years later, Symbol was disassembled and moved to Sinnissippi Park. Since 1984, Symbol has been placed along the river, north of downtown Rockford.
SYMBOL / ROCKFORD, IL
|"Symbol painted blue may mean more to me–emotionally–but whatever." |
Creator of Symbol website amd bedtime story