When the City of Anamosa reached the agreement to bring the “God Bless America” sculpture, it was expected it would bring a lot of positives to the community.
The results were more than could be hoped for.
“It exceeded anything I thought it was going to be. It was so popular,” Anamosa Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director LeeAnna Boone said.
“It had a huge impact. We had visitors from all over. People from different countries came to Anamosa to just see that and I still get calls at least once a month from somebody wanting to know if it was still here.”
The 25-foot sculpture of the “American Gothic” couple occupied the green space in between Wapsi Physical Therapy and Remley, Willems, McQuillen & Voss, L.L.P for just less than a year. It arrived with fanfare and a giant event and, due to a communication mix-up, was removed with just five days warning and transported to Peoria, Ill.
Within the community, the most common comment Boone gets about the sculpture is if the community is going to get the statue back.
“That has always been the ultimate goal,” she said.
Negotiations are currently ongoing with Seward Johnson Atelier, who oversee the sculpture, to see what it would take to get the statue back permanently. There is a group working to raise funds to get the statue back and there will be a fundraiser for the purpose held on Valentine’s Day.
“I think it would have a huge impact on the retail, the restaurants, everything,” Boone said. “I think it would have a huge impact around the community.”