Proposed American Indian monument in Tulsa needs funding

Monday, November 29th 2004, 6:20 am
By: News On 6

(AP) _ A proposed 21 story American Indian monument near Tulsa has a site and more than one-third of the funding needed for the project, but organizers said local investors need to step up.

Osage artist Shan Gray said if he is to complete ``The American'' in time for the state's centennial celebration, financial commitments must be in place by Jan. 1.

The project by Gray and Tulsan Gentner Drummond is estimated to cost $26 million to $30 million and Drummond said most of the funds raised thus far have come from Oklahoma City.

Drummond and his partners have donated Holmes Peak, seven miles northwest of downtown, and hundreds of surrounding acres for ``The American'' and the proposed Oklahoma Centennial Botanical Gardens.

Drummond said Tulsans ``must be cognizant that until construction begins at Holmes Peak, Oklahoma City's business community, which has invested in the project, will continue to entice and attempt to solicit 'The American' away from Tulsa.

``Shan is looking at Tulsa investors to match what Oklahoma City has done because it directly benefits Tulsa,'' Drummond said.

Gray said he was not discouraged about how long it is taking to raise funds.

``This is a huge project,'' he said. ``I bit the bullet several weeks back and decided I would operate at the good Lord's timing.''

``The American'' will be a 176-foot tall bronze sculpture of a young warrior with an observation area. It would be the world's largest bronze monument with a viewing area.