Monday, July 11, 2011
Bill Russell Statue To Be Located In Boston's City Hall Plaza
Bill Russell's on and off the court exploits with the Boston Celtics deserve no introduction, the man is a true icon in NBA history and with the league's most decorated franchise.
It's long overdue that Russell get a statue in Boston and it's nice that it will happen while he's still around to enjoy it (even though that's not what he's all about).
Boston mayor Tom "Mumbles" Menino announced today the statue will be located in Boston's City Hall Plaza.
BOSTON -- City Hall Plaza will serve as home to the Bill Russell statue, Mayor Thomas Menino and Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca announced Monday morning in a brief ceremony on the expected location near State Street.
During a site visit earlier this year, Pagliuca described how a sea of children swarmed Russell near that location, making him seem like a "living statue," and the idea snowballed from there. Menino suggested the area could one day become a plaza of champions, but that they will start with Boston's greatest champion in Russell.
Three artists have been selected as finalists for the design of the statue and, after making their first official site visit Monday, will be asked to submit their visions to the Bill Russell Legacy Committee in October. Pagliuca suggested the actual statue could be unveiled next spring, noting he hoped it would coincide with the Celitcs' 2011-12 season.
The three artists are Fern Cunningham, creator of the Monument to Harriett Tubman in Boston's South end; Antonio Mendez with Oudens Ello Architects, whose work includes the player statues outside Fenway Park; and Anne Hirsch, a local artist based in Somerville.
Bobby Orr has a statue outside TD Garden and Ted Williams has a statue outside Fenway Park. It's only fitting that Russell, who helped Boston through racial tensions in the 1960s, join that elite group of local pro sports legends.