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The replica of the “Lacrosse Players” sculpture that sits on Rose Street would be moved about half a mile north under a proposal discussed Tuesday by city officials.

La Crosse Players

La Crosse city officials are considering moving the “Lacrosse Players” replica featuring the “Welcome to La Crosse” sign about half a mile north to the new Eagle Watch next to Interstate 90’s Exit 3.

Under the proposal, the statue would be moved from where it sits across Hwy. 53 from the La Crosse Family Restaurant atop a lit “Welcome to La Crosse” sign to the Eagle Watch area just south of Interstate 90’s Exit 3.

“We’re just trying to make it accessible to more people,” said Mayor Tim Kabat.

The statue is a reproduction of Elmer Petersen’s steel sculpture erected in downtown La Crosse in 1981, which depicts three Native Americans playing the game lacrosse. In 2005, the scaled-up replica created by Sparta artist David Oswald was placed on the city’s North Side.

Council member Andrea Richmond, who represents the area where the sculpture sits, said Tuesday she’s had a lot of requests to move the statue to a more accessible location with a place to park for people who want to see it.

“There are a ton of people who love taking pictures by that,” Richmond said.

However, even after the Wisconsin Department of Transportation project added a pedestrian path down the highway, people tend to stop and cross the highway near the statue rather than park at the eagle viewing area and walk down the sidewalk.

“From a safety standpoint, it’d be ideal if we could have the statue be a part of that eagle watch area,” Kabat said.

The idea is in its preliminary stages as city officials and staff consider options.

“The next step is really to get some estimates on what it’s going to cost,” Kabat said.

The city hopes to use funding from the Exit 3 project to pay for the move and the creation of a new base. According to Richmond, the “Welcome to La Crosse” sign will likely stay where it is because of its size and weight.

“There are a lot of loose ends that have to be worked out first,” Richmond said.

The Eagle Watch, which overlooks the area commonly called Shopko Bay, opened in June across Hwy. 53 from West George Street as a place to showcase the natural beauty of the Black River.

The move coincides with a project spearheaded by the North La Crosse Business Association to add an eagle sculpture to the area.

When it’s completed, Richmond said it will be pretty cool.

“I do walk it at night, and it’s just beautiful,” she said.


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Jourdan Vian can be reached at jvian@lacrossetribune.com or follow her on Twitter at @Jourdan_LCT.

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City government reporter

Jourdan Vian is a reporter and columnist covering local government and city issues for the La Crosse Tribune. You can contact her at 608-791-8218.

(14) comments

Rick Czeczok

I was thinking, what makes it wrong in one place, and OK in another? Council please explain this to us.

capedcrusader

You may want to read the article again...

LaCrosseTaxPayer

Fix the roads before wasting money on stuff like this, you morons wasted money buying and putting that thing there don’t waste any more money on it or any other hair brain stuff! How much did all the bike racks downtown that take up parking spots and dent car doors because there so close to the road cost us? Why do we have city employees when they hire private contractors to paint cross walks and yellow no parking zones, bike lanes etc.The city has $30000.00 to buy 6 tvs for the parking ramps but no money to fix the roads!! I just can’t understand the thinking of the morons that are attempting to run this town. I for one say no more money no more taxes until the spend happy fools at city hall start to manage the waste in this towns budget!!! Every one of these spend happy fools that vote for or back all this wasteful spending must be voted out of office!!!! We as tax payers must demand these spend happy fools are responsible with our tax dollars and curb all the wasteful spending or vote them out!!!!!!!

Cassandra2

I see road construction all over town. Major projects are being undertaken. Are you a shut-in?

Redwall

I drive past the Players statue on the Black River every day at least once. I have never seen anyone having their picture taken next to it (and until just recently the area around it was choked with weeds).

Meanwhile, people are having their picture taken in front of the Hiawatha statue all day long, every day.

Rick Czeczok

These council members have lost their minds. Time to get rid of these lifetime tax spenders (ex school board members).

Cassandra2

Interesting that the Russian bot Zerocock lambastes people for serving on the school board. You know, Russian troll, you should run for office, but that would mean moving to the US and giving up your cozy cubicle in the bot farm in St. Petersburg.

Rick Czeczok

BLAH, blah, blah, this guy is a liberal activist (yes he's a guy using a woman's name), nothing new from that camp. Insult and name call, no ideas, just obstruct, then hide.

Cassandra2

Unable to defend his previous comments, Zerocock finds itself completely unable to respond to my suggestion that it run for office. Blah, blah, blah....HAHAHAHAH (to quote the Russian bot).

Redwall

The obvious question any curious Fibune writer would ask is 'how is the statue of 3 native americans in loin-cloth playing LaCrosse not offensive while the the single native american in loin-cloth (Hiawatha) is racially insensitive.

...crickets, of course.

Of course, neither statue is offensive to most except a few very squeaky wheels. Those squeaky wheels have said publicly they want BOTH statues taken down.

I say, Leave both statues where they are. If the Hiawatha needs a new paint job to make him more acceptable, as that is the only difference in the statues, fine.

canman

Kabat has money for this want, maybe it’ll come out of wheel taxes. Quit spending for nonsense.

Lulubelle

How does this offensive thing pass as art while the politicians are dead set on removing our beautiful Hiawatha landmark

Buggs Raplin

I take no position on the move. I love the statue, but when I would come down off the interstate I found it hard to discern. The sculpture needed a white backdrop to distinguish the features.

let it go

Here is a free estimate. Leave it alone since you decided to put it there to draw people to the downtown area. It would be too expensive to move it now. When citizens voiced an opinion you did not listen. Why not move it to where the Good Stewart was if anywhere? That is just a vacant lot now.

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