It will still be several years before Tulsa is home to the largest bronze monument in the world, but the people behind the project assured the Tulsa City Council that The American is alive and well. The News On 6â€™s Carina Sonn reports the monument is supposed to be for Tulsa and Oklahoma what Mount Rushmore is to South Dakota, or the Statue of Liberty is to New York.
The American will stand on Holmes Peak on more than a hundred acres of land. The 21 story statue is expected to bring more than 1.5 million visitors to Tulsa a year, 1000 jobs and $5 million in annual tax revenue. Guests to the monument will be able to take an elevator up to an observation area overlooking the city, the site will also include a visitor and learning centers and an amphitheater.
The project's CEO said that kind of monument isn't built overnight.
"We're probably the best kept secret in Tulsa. The project's been moving forward over the last three and a half years," said The American project CEO Michael Rohleder.
Michael Rohleder says a little more than $3 million has already been spent on site development plans, technology to build the monument and an economic impact study. He says even though the projects directors have been quiet, they say they are making progress.
"Right now our best anticipated timeline for it is to close the private offering by August 1st, to be able to start turning dirt 6-months after that."
Rohleder says private investors will pay for the $25 million statue. The rest of the money, $35 million, will be donated by large companies, the city and matched by the federal government.
The artist Shan Gray is currently working on a 6 foot prototype of the statue so it can be tested to withstand wind. It will be unveiled in 2011.
Watch the video: Progress Being Made On The American Statue
4/3/2004 Holmes Peak Will Be The Site Of 'The American'
6/7/2004 Getting ready for 'The American'
10/8/2004 Funding Problems For 'The American' Statue
1/20/2006 'The American' Plans Move Forward