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COMMUNITY VOICE

Moving Old Tony to Courthouse Green might require other moves

Friday, February 1, 2013 - 12:01 am

you move Anthony Wayne sculpture to the pristine Courthouse Green, you’ll have to patch him up first for safe transit across the street.

And if you actually get the old boy there without breaking something, you’ll have to install another sculpture on the Green to eliminate that lopsided look.

Perhaps you’ll want to move the sculpture of Little Turtle from Headwaters Park to balance Old Tony and to salute the Native Americans who were actually here first. And if you plan to pay homage to the Native Americans, you had better also plan to salute the contributions of women to this fine community and, with all due haste, relocate the sculptures of the Hamilton Women also at Headwaters Park to the Green.

And if you honor the contributions of earliest, early and women settlers to this fair city, you will want to add a large piece of public art to represent the future contributions of all those who will settle in this fertile clime. A big new metal sculpture of a leather-red pomegranate might be just the thing. Pomegranates are all seed — all potential — and, thus, perfect for symbolizing a productive future.

Ah, but corn is also mostly potential, mostly seed. And, it’s native to our location in the Corn Belt. So ditch the pomegranate sculpture idea and add a real corn garden to the pristine Courthouse Green. A midsized plot that our children could tend would suffice. If you involve children, you know you’ll need to add some restrooms.

You’ll want to put a couple of porta-potties close to the corn garden that symbolizes Fort Wayne’s future growth, that balances the sculptures of the Hamilton Women and Little Turtle that represent contributions of women and Native Americans, that will keep the pristine Courthouse Green from looking lopsided once Old Tony is patched and moved across the street.

Of course, you will not want to use any of those ordinary sky-bluish and dented porta-potties. The Green deserves — yea, demands — Beaux Arts porta-potties to complement the design of the National Register Courthouse itself. Can’t you just see them? Two little portable structures, complete inside with the necessary equipment and clad outside in faux marble with a painted arch or two, each with a little dome, one topped with a dainty Lady Liberty for the girls and the other with a stalwart Lord Liberty for the boys. Above each door, a small sign that reads (with apologies to Dante) “Do not abandon hope all ye who enter here.”

Ah, but if you plant a corn garden and add Beaux Arts porta-potties, you’ll have to remove part of the pristine Green along Clinton Street to create parallel parking spaces for parents to wait while their children work in the field.

Then, if there is available parking, porta-potties, a corn garden and several big sculptures, you’ll want to have lighting so citizens can enjoy all the scene has to offer at night, too. Would it break the City Council to free up a bit of that Legacy money for a few cafe tables and chairs and even an awning or two so citizens could wait until their children return, all grubby and dirty from their work in the cornfield?

As poet Robert Frost said in “Mending Wall,” “Before I built a wall, I’d want to know what I was walling and walling out and to whom I was like to give offense.” Before Old Tony is moved from Freimann Square to the pristine Courthouse Green, I’d want to know what else the move entailed and to whom such move was like to give offense. Well, there’s also that cost thing to consider.

Old Tony doesn’t need moved. Trim the few trees in Freimann or cut them down so Old Tony can see the whites of our eyes and so our leaders can get on with the many real problems at hand.

Dana L Wichern is a resident of Fort Wayne.