A proposed outdoor statue of a Texas Ranger has been shot down by the Waco City Council. In a state known for being bigger in just about everything, this statue was just “too big.” Houston Public Radio’s Jim Bell reports.
As proposed, the Texas Ranger statue would have been 65 feet tall, and it would stood outside the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco. A group of museum supporters wanted to donate the statue as a gift to the City of Waco, which owns the museum, but after months of controversy, the Waco City Council has voted to reject the statue. Museum Director Byron Johnson says the statue fell victim to a lot of misinformation in the Waco media.
“The local newspaper ran a photograph of it showing it being 174 feet tall. And when we had all of that weighing in, I think it was very difficult for the donors to really be able to get a clear line out about what they were trying to accomplish.”
Johnson says people either love or hate large outdoor statues. There’s no middle ground, and apparently, not many people in Waco are warm to the idea of a giant statue on I-35, on the bank of the Brazos River, almost in the heart of the city. Johnson says it’s a dead issue now. There won’t be a giant statue at the Texas Ranger museum, but there will be a smaller statue, one Johnson is sure most people, and the City Council will like.
“A local businessman who is an art enthusiast, named Clifton Robinson, has commissioned a little bit larger than life-size equestrian statue that’s going in in the next 60 days here. And it’s a bronze of a Texas Ranger on horseback.”
The 65 foot statue was to be made by Houston sculptor David Adickes, who’s known for his large outdoor statues of famous people in Texas and around the country. Adickes says he’s disappointed at this turn of events.
“I was hoping to do the project. It would be a nice one. I don’t really understand totally the mentality of Waco. There was enough people against it though to cancel the deal, so I guess the city council had to do what their constituents want.”
Adickes says the Texas Ranger statue is dead only as far as the Museum is concerned, because it’s on city property, but, it could still be placed somewhere else.
“It could go to some other spot that’s not city-owned in Waco, because the city’s only participation was that they own the land. If some other property were picked in Waco that’s not owned by the city it could go up.”
But Adickes admits it probably won’t go up anywhere, but he says he’s heard that a group in Kerrville is interested in one of his statues, possibly one of a Texas Ranger, but he doesn’t know if that’s true or not.
Adickes is best known for that 67 foot statue of Sam Houston on I-45 near Huntsville, and a 60 foot statue of Stephen F. Austin in Angleton. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.