Goldwater Statue, Created For National Statuary Hall, Is Stranded In Phoenix

Goldwater Statue, Created For National Statuary Hall, Is Stranded In Phoenix

By Rachel Lund, Cronkite News Service

PHOENIX — Arizona state officials in March unveiled an 8-foot bronze statue of the late U.S. Senator Barry M. Goldwater that will represent the state at the National Statuary Hall in Washington.

Months later, visitors to the old State Capitol still see the statue looming over the state seal in the rotunda.

Those raising money to create and ship the statue say they need $65,000 or so more, not only to get it to Washington, but also to bring home the statue it will replace. And the state lawmaker who shepherded the legislation calling for Goldwater’s likeness to replace one of mining executive John Campbell Greenway said officials at the U.S. Capitol have been slow to schedule a date for the statue’s unveiling.

State Librarian Joan Clark, who is part of the effort, said she has enjoyed having the statue here.

“It has been nice that the people of Arizona have been able to enjoy it since late March when we installed it,” Clark said. “But now it is time for Barry Goldwater to go to D.C. and be appreciated on a national level.”

Ted Hale, deputy director of the Arizona State Library, said he and others will take the next step when fundraising is complete.

“Right now we could almost afford to send him to D.C.,” he said. “But we aren’t anywhere near getting Mr. Greenway back.”

Hale said he and others have done all they can to raise the money, including fundraisers, involving the Goldwater family and offering 2-foot replicas of the statue to those who contribute $10,000 or more.

“We haven’t ruled out garage sales and swap meets either — any way we can to get him there,” Hale said.

State Sen. Adam Driggs said: “The real reason it is taking so long is waiting for the Architect of the Capitol and House Speaker (John) Boehner to give us a date. Once we get a date, it will facilitate the last push.”

Laura Condeluci, a spokeswoman for the Architect of the Capitol, said via email that she couldn’t respond immediately to a request for comment on Driggs’ concerns.

In 2008, Driggs sponsored legislation to add Goldwater to the National Statuary Hall collection, where each state is represented by two statues. Arizona’s other statue is of the Rev. Eusebio F. Kino, the Jesuit priest who established missions during the 17th century.

Driggs said he and others consider Goldwater a better representation of Arizona’s modern history than Greenway, whose statue has stood in the hall since 1930.

By federal law none of the money for the statue can come from public funds, Clark said.

Deborah Copenhaver Fellows, the creator of the Goldwater statue, said she doesn’t think the average Arizonan understands this.

“I cannot tell you the number of people who have come into my studio in the last 24 months who have said, ‘I met him. I remember him. He was wonderful. He is what we need now.’ I mean he is just like a hero in Arizona,” she said.

“I was always of the opinion that if you would let John Q Public know that he’s the one that’s going to send it Washington, D.C., it would work,” she said. “I’m just really surprised that the fundraising wasn’t more efficient.”

Photo via WikiCommons

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