Final concrete work and sandblasting has been completed on the Black Hawk Statue and protective netting and scaffolding has started to come down around the concrete icon, which has been under a protective wrap for the better part of the past two years.
Taking down the scaffolding will be a very slow process that will take around two weeks. Jan Stilson, Chairman of the Black Hawk Area Restoration and Development Committee, compared it to removing toothpicks.
Stilson said she noticed on Monday that the color of the statue may be a little different than before after the restoration. She called it noticeably more white, while original sculptor Lorado Taft aimed for a color that resembled finished pink marble.
A ceremony dedicated to the restored statue is being planned for the coming months by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in a joint effort with local organizations like BARD, Stilson said.
Landscaping around the statue will redo the plaza, rock wall and flooring at the ground level and could start as soon as this summer. The landscaping is slated to be paid for by the IDNR. If not, it will come out of the $180,000 raised by BARD between April and August 2018.
BARD is offering pieces of the Black Hawk statue removed in the restoration process. If interested, send a message to the Facebook page Restoration of the Black Hawk Statue. The organization is a nonprofit. Pieces are being offered for donations in return.