Sunday, January 24, 2016

Colonial Soldier, SW Barbur & Huber

Next stop on our public art tour takes us a bit off the beaten path. If you're heading out of Portland on SW Barbur, right after the tangled intersection with Capitol Highway and I-5 you might catch a quick glimpse of a statue of a Colonial minuteman, bravely guarding the low-rise brick offices of a local mortgage company. I noticed this a couple of times on rare trips out to the 'burbs and made a note to check it out, which I did on a subsequent rare trip. (It's at SW Barbur & Huber St.; the geotag for this post points at the exact location.) The statue's base includes an inscription "Carlton Bell 1976", along with the names of a few assistants, which I can't quite make out in my photos, unfortunately.

The only info I've found about this statue comes from an almost decade-old Portland Public Art post. Or rather, from the comments to the post. Several comments are by people who had known Bell in years past and had googled around trying to figure out what ever became of him. Go read the whole thread. It's kind of fascinating. And be sure to look at the dates: The post is from April 2006, but comments keep trickling in; the most recent one (as of right now) is dated July 2015.

I wish internet comment sections worked like that more often. I still get occasional (and generally interesting) comments to my original Kelly Butte post (which also dates to 2006), but that's pretty much the only example I've got here. Alhough to be honest this humble blog often goes months without a single comment, even to the most recent posts. I prefer to think that's because I've done such a thorough job that nobody has anything more to add. That may even be true sometimes...

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