View Full Version : Tulsa Indian Statue

10-22-2004, 10:44 PM
An article in the Daily Oklahoma today claims that the 17 story Indian statue is still on track for downtown Tulsa, but I tend to wonder. Based on what I've read, I tend to wonder if the guy if gonig to get it together. It's funny how he told noth our city and Tulsa that he didn't need any money, as he had investors to cover the whole cost.....Hmmmm...looks like he only has investors to cover 1/3 of the cost.
In my opinion it's just like the state capitol dome...another waste of $30 mill that could be better used elsewhere. But to each his own I guess!

"Landowner says statue project on solid ground

By Jack Money
The Oklahoman

TULSA - A man who is donating land for a massive American Indian statue disputes televised reports that the $30 million project is in financial trouble.
Gentner Drummond, who has agreed to donate land on a prominent hill overlooking downtown Tulsa, said local investors will get their first formal opportunity to support the project during meetings with organizers in the coming weeks.

"I believe the project is on course," Drummond said, noting that he understands more than $10 million already has been committed by investors.

Drummond, who is not an investor, made those remarks after a local television station reported the project, the 17-story "The American" statue, was in trouble because of fund-raising difficulties.

The goal of the meetings is to raise enough money to begin construction on the for-profit venture, he said.

"The American" is proposed by Edmond artist Shan Gray. His previous work includes a statue of Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller.

He has estimated the project's economic impact for Tulsa could be from $500 million to $1.6 billion a year.

Gray, who has said he wants the project completed before Oklahoma's 2007 Centennial celebration in April, could not be reached for comment.

An attorney for companies formed to raise money referred inquiries to the artist. "

10-23-2004, 08:47 AM
I actually love the idea. It would have been pretty cool in OKC. However, with Tulsa's hills and their proximity to the city -- well, I just think it would suit them better.

I hope the guy secures the funding for this. It would be something truly unique for our state.

10-23-2004, 11:33 PM
I agree that this was a great idea. And I also think theproject fit well in Tulsa. But at the same time, I'm glad to see that our city is finally getting smart and researching out every project that cones across their desk. Mr. Gray said originally that he already had investors in place to finance the entire project. It seems like they're lacking now. Reminds me a lot of the Moshe Taldebate many years ago, when rival developer Randy Hogan was chosen over Moshe Tal, because Tal couldn't ientify his financing source.

Anyways, downtownguy had a great story on this topic today:

Not Buying It
Here's a trick that occurs all the time:

You have a development idea, but you don't have the money to pull it off. So what do you do? You create buzz for the project, "leaking" stories to reporters, building up anticipation, and finally, making an announcement that's short on details on how it might be financed.

Most people inside the OKC Chamber and City Hall have gotten wise to this tactic, and no longer slobber at just anything that comes to their attention. And that's why they didn't get too broken hearted when artist Shan Gray announced last spring that he was going to build a $26 million, 16-story statue of an American Indian in Tulsa, instead of Oklahoma City.

Reporters had no problems back then getting information from the Edmond artist, who assured all that all the financing for the project was already committed - even though he couldn't identify the investors.

One deadline after another has since passed. And the only one to dispute Tulsa television reports that the project is in trouble is Gentner Drummond, who donated land for the statue to be built on a prominent hill overlooking downtown Tulsa.

In a recent story in The Daily Oklahoman, (which said Gray couldn't be reached for comment), Drummond insisted the project is still on track - although it still needs another $20 million in investments (the pricetag also seems to have risen to $30 million).

Why would Drummond say this if the project really were in trouble? Think about it. Drummond didn't give away all of his land. He's probably counting on that statue to bring flocks of tourists, who in turn will make the rest of the property very lucrative for commercial development.

My prediction: this project isn't going to happen.

- The Downtown Guy