OREGON – Less than $90,000 is needed to get repairs to the Black Hawk statue going, which means work might begin in the spring, restoration advocates said.
Roger Cain with the Black Hawk Restoration Team told his members Tuesday morning that $210,000 of the $300,000 needed for contracts to be signed now is in hand.
“We’ve done quite well,” team chairwoman Jan Stilson said.
The team is raising money needed to get a matching $350,000 grant finally approved by state lawmakers in late May. The grant was approved in 2009 but was tied up, a victim of the state budget battle.
Time and the elements have taken their toll on the 48-foot concrete statue created by sculptor Lorado Taft in 1910 as a tribute to Native Americans. Chunks of concrete have fallen off, cracks have spread and other surface issues plague the local landmark.
The cost of the repairs is estimated at $600,000.
In early July, $59,000 remained in the statue repair fund administered by the Illinois Conservation Foundation in Springfield. In mid-July, E.D. Etnyre and Co. of Oregon donated $100,000.
Other fundraising efforts, both locally and at a Cliff Dwellers meeting in Chicago, brought in more money, and several other organizations have made commitments to donate, Cain said.
The contracts between the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Quality Restorations Inc., of Wood Dale will be signed once the private money is raised, which means it probably will begin in the spring rather than this year.
“The people of northern Illinois are waiting to see something happen,” Stilson said.
Cain said he’s not sure whether the statue will be wrapped again this winter to protect it from the elements. It was unwrapped in early June, after nearly 4 years in protective coverings.
WANT TO HELP?
Donations to the restoration project can be made at ilcf.org or sent to Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702.
Cal 815-732-7439 for more information.