Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Roadside GIANT: Steel Virgin Mary New Castle, Delaware

Visitors traveling from New Jersey to Delaware are greeted as they enter the first state by a giant steel Virgin Mary. She's pretty hard to miss with her steely open arms looking to comfort every passing motorist, or intimidate them.

The steely figure has been in place since 2007 when the folks of Delaware decided they wanted their very own giant Mary. Local artist Charles C. Park had previously created two similar sculptures that were displayed prominently in the state before finding permanent homes in California and Illinois. Beginning in 1999 the faithful throughout the state began raising funds for their own. The statue was done in sections as funds were being raised.

The massive statue stands over 34 feet tall and weighs over 8,000 pounds. The work is not solid steel but instead is strips welded together. In between the steel spaces people place their prayers and memorials. The wind also howls through these strips making for a quite unique sound. The statue is done in a way that seems it could come to life at any moment. Certainly intimidating.

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