In 2015, several artists from around the Chattanooga area were asked to submit their ideas for an iconic sculpture to serve as a symbol of Chattanooga. Much like St. Louis has The Arch, which can be seen from miles away, Chattanooga needs a recognizable gateway, and something that is significant to our local history.
In the late 1800's, the iron industry was essential to the growth and prosperity of Chattanooga. In 1877, The Chattanooga Pipe and Foundry was founded and quickly became one of Chattanooga's primary manufacturers, ultimately becoming one of the finest iron fabricators in the nation. Eventually consolidating with other regional manufacturers to become United States Cast Iron Pipe and Foundry, the company remained one of Chattanooga's leading manufacturers until the closing of the plant in 2005. The iron and foundry industry was fundamental to the economic survival of the city and placed Chattanooga on the map as an industry leader.
Calling upon this important part of our city's history, I have designed an iconic sculpture of an early 20th C. foundry worker, standing on one tower (or building) and pouring molten steel into a mold onto another tower (or building). The illusion of molten steel would be accomplished with the addition of orange LED lights. The foundry worker's iron pot could have a continuous pour; or it could pour intermittently, much like anticipating Old Faithful. The scale of this sculpture would be determined at a later date; however, it would be visible from the new proposed stadium, Broad Street, I- 24, downtown, and Cummings Highway.