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Eagle sculpture could get quick repairs this year

Brad Williams



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.