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Heron Sculpture

Elm Park Heron SculptureFrom the City of Worcester website:

At the posting of this web site, the original Heron is in storage, safe but not especially sound after some rather exciting events in its senior years. In need of restoration (actually major surgery) the six-foot statue will one day be placed in a future parks department historical display. The “Japanese bronze” bird is a larger-than-life casting of a great blue heron finely detailed with individual feathers and markings on the bill and legs.

In 1884, Park Commissioner, Charles H. Davis gave the brass sculpture to Elm Park, where it resided peaceably enough until 1959 when it was stolen. Returned and repaired it was stolen again in 1963, and again returned and repaired. In 1965 it was removed due to low water conditions and placed in storage.

A replica of the heron was sculpted by Port Townsend, Washington sculptor Paco Mitchell. The finished piece, named “Ardea” (named after the Latin term Ardea Herodius, the Great Blue Heron) by the sculptor was purchased and offered to the City by an anonymous donor. Ardea currently resides in the shallow mere of Elm Park during the summer months. It is placed in storage during the winter to avoid vandalism that is imminent by vandals who can walk the ponds once frozen over.

* Truthfully, the statue may actually be a whooping crane. Parks (Commissioner Edward Winslow Lincoln may have known this, but kept quiet out of deference to the donor. He wrote, “… the Commission have been presented … with an elegant representation, in Japanese bronze, of what they assume to be Ardea Herodia, the Great Blue Heron;” (emphasis added).

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