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Eagle sculpture could get quick repairs this year



One of La Crosse’s best-known works of art could get a makeover before the summer tourism season. 

The Eagle sculpture at the west end of State Street heading into Riverside Park is rusting and needs to be fixed, according to city park director Jay Odegaard. 

He tells the La Crosse arts board that the main problem with the Elmer Petersen artwork lies with the type of steel used to make the bird.

“It’s not thick enough,” Odegaard said, adding that the steel is “designed to rust from both sides, and then get to a point and stop. The problem was, this gauge steel wasn’t thick enough, and so it … didn’t stop.”

Odegaard is preparing to get quotes on how much it might cost to repair the Eagle and its pedestal, installed at Riverside Park in the 1980s. 

Just over $150,000 is set aside in the city budget for the project. 

The Eagle has been high on a list of La Crosse artworks that need heavy maintenance, along with the Hiawatha statue, which stands at another location in Riverside Park.


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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