Release Date: October 6,2020
Mayor Horrigan Announces Update on Rubber Worker Statue and Commemorative Bricks
Deadline to Buy a Brick Extended to Dec. 31, 2020
Akron, Ohio, October 6, 2020 — The City of Akron has announced plans to have the 12 ft. bronze Rubber Worker statue installed in November 2020. The statue will be displayed in the center of the newly redeveloped Main Street in the roundabout at the corner of Main and Mill Streets. The statue itself, created by Ohio Sculptor Alan Cottrill, is nearing completion. The granite base that the statue will sit on is expected to be ready for installation in November.
“It's an exciting time for our downtown corridor as we are finishing up Phase 1 of our Main Street construction and installing the Rubber Worker statue for all Akron residents and visitors to enjoy," said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. “The statue symbolizes all those working men and women who helped build up our community through their labor, determination, and grit and we're excited to honor them and our rubber history in a spot of prominence in our community.”
The statue would not be possible without the financial support of local partners including Huntington Bank, FirstEnergy, PNC, Akron Children’s Hospital, GPD Group, and the Office of Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro.
The City has created a tribute area for the rubber workers and their families on the Northeast corner nearest to the roundabout, to provide visitors with an opportunity to safely engage with the art. The installation will also include historic plaques that describe the unique contributions of women and African Americans to the rubber industry in Akron.
The City has partnered with Art x Love on the Rubber Worker Stories Project, an initiative to collect audio/visual stories from Akron’s rubber workers and their descendants. These stories are being transcribed and archived in full in the University of Akron’s Rubber Industry Archives. Excerpts from selected stories are also being paired with archival footage for display online and at an interactive kiosk, which will be installed in the Northeast corner this year.
This corner also features an installation of commemorative bricks. These bricks have helped to fund the Rubber Worker Stories Project, pay for the kiosk, and archive the history for future generations. These bricks can be purchased by anyone, and Akron Stories has extended the deadline to purchase bricks to December 31, 2020. They can be purchased online for $100 per brick at https://www.akronstories.com/bricks.
There have been 938 bricks sold so far; 700 bricks have already been installed and an additional set will be installed later in October. The brick initiative has been so successful that the City has expanded the area where they will be installed to accommodate for the number of bricks purchased.
The City will host a ceremony unveiling the statue sometime in November. More information on that will be announced at a later date. To purchase a brick or share a story, please visit www.akronstories.com.