Sculpture Park Breaks Ground
When dirt began moving and the underbrush was cleared, Edmond citizens wondered what would emerge. A former horse ranch with forested barriers on Second Street off Coltrane, will be the home to a sculpture garden and park. This Route 66 destination is the first of its kind in the state and region.
After years of planning, construction is underway. The park is set to be completed in two years. Sculptures by renowned artists will be placed throughout the park, and there are plans for a restaurant to be built with a view overlooking a lake.
An Aesthete Benefactor
Developer and longtime Edmond resident Hal French is behind the project. Hal is a quiet funder and founder of Peppers Ranch, a home for foster children. He spared no expense on Peppers Ranch, giving children an opportunity to live within the comfort of a home they could take pride in. Hal has long had plans to give back to his community in a creative way. The timing and the location of this property was right with the renewed focus on revitalizing Route 66 championed by Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell.
The sculpture park will further promote Edmond’s affinity for public art and honor Hal French’s passion for offering children of all backgrounds a dignified and lovely place to play. Upon completion, The French Family Charitable Foundation intends to gift the park to the city.
A Legacy of Public Art
Randel Shadid, former mayor and founding father of Edmond’s public and private art matching ordinance, is overseeing the project pro-bono. Randel says, “This park is a gift from heaven. That piece of property is special, and I longed to see it preserved.”
The addition of the sculpture park will bring Edmond’s public art count to well over 300 pieces; 20 pieces have been purchased to date. The ordinance responsible for Edmond’s abundant public art will celebrate its 20th birthday in October. Randel says, “Public art adds to the aesthetic and civility of the community.”
“The park will be a piece of Edmond’s history. It will remain long after we are gone,” Randel says. Though on a different scale and focus, the park will feature play spaces similar to the Gathering Place in Tulsa.
Though in early stages, the park promises to be a place loved by locals and visitors alike. The anticipation will steadily build as the funds are raised and the vision is realized. On the horizon is another gem that makes Edmond an exceptional place to live.