Crews Work To Move, Preserve Statues Before Gathering Place Groundbreaking

Monday, September 8th 2014, 8:04 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Work started Monday morning to move several statues in River Parks. It's in anticipation of construction of the Gathering Place getting started.

The groundbreaking on the park is a week from Saturday and heavy construction starts immediately, so anything that's in the way that could be damaged is being moved out.

A statue of ducks in flight was clearly never designed to be moved. It's in thick, reinforced concrete that was surrounded by stone.

The job to move it is heavy demolition that requires a delicate touch.

Gathering Place Groundbreaking

"It's part of history, this was donated by Ducks Unlimited so they're landmarks," said Larry MaGee with Crossland Construction.

The sense of history in the making comes up often with people working on the Gathering Place, where the most visible work to date is underway.

The 18 statues and art pieces on the Gathering Place property will all be moved outside the new park but kept within River Parks.

Gathering Place Project Manager, Jeff Stava said, “All of the sculptures and the artwork in and around the site on both the east and west side of Riverside drive, River Parks has been coordinating within the last year, selecting other locations within River Parks to site those and move those to their new locations."

The mallards will move to Denver and Riverside. Another will be moved south to 37th Street, and one of the more noticeable landmarks by the pedestrian bridge, the giant American flag, is coming down too.

The flagpole is being moved south.

All of the work is to clear the property of anything that can be damaged with the work on the Gathering Place.

Gathering Place Parking

The lawn of the Blair Mansion property has been fenced and more security fencing is going up to block off the site during construction.

The public will get a last chance to be on the site, before construction, at the groundbreaking.

"We'll have big stanchions where you can see the lodge renderings so you can see right where it will be, the boathouse, the great lawn, the major features of the site, they'll all be marked on the site so you can see and experience how big an opportunity and how big a park this is going to be,” said Stava.

The groundbreaking is September 20th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A crowd is expected, 3,000 to 5,000 and free shuttle busses are going between here and downtown for parking.

What's been described as an army of construction workers comes in right afterward.