Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Golden Boy

Above is a pic of Golden Boy that I took on Monday. Below is a DMN story about Golden Boy's unveiling at AT&T's HQ in downtown Dallas (where I work).

AT&T unveils gilded statue in headquarters lobby in downtown Dallas
Posted:07/08/2009 10:30 AM
By RUDOLPH BUSH / The Dallas Morning News

A historic golden statue that stood atop AT&T's New York offices for much of the 20th century was quietly unveiled in the lobby of the company's refurbished downtown Dallas headquarters earlier this week.

The Spirit of Communication, or "Golden Boy" as the statue is better known, measures 28 feet tall and is gilded in thousands of layers of shining gold leaf.

Standing just inside the glass-enclosed lobby at 208 S. Akard St., the bronze sculpture of a man holding crossed lightning bolts in a raised fist seems certain to become an important attraction for Dallas' downtown.

Completed in 1916 by artist Evelyn Beatrice Longman and originally titled Genius of Electricity, the statue was commissioned by AT&T president Theodore Vail and has belonged to the company ever since.

But until Monday, when the company quietly removed construction barriers that had been built around it, the statue hadn't been on public display for years, said AT&T spokeswoman Sarah Andreani.

For 64 years, it stood atop the AT&T building on Broadway in New York. It was removed from that site and displayed in the lobby of a Madison Avenue building until 1992, Andreani said.

Since then, it has been kept at two AT&T facilities in New Jersey.

Andreani said AT&T wanted the statue to be part of its new Dallas headquarters, dubbed Whitacre Tower for former chairman and chief executive Edward Whitacre Jr.

"It's a symbol of one of the world's largest corporations, so we're really excited to have it here," she said.

The company spent months remodeling the lobby with Golden Boy in mind, opening up the building's white marble front with a wall of glass onto AT&T Plaza, a park that fronts the entrance.

Mayor Tom Leppert, who worked to bring AT&T's corporate offices to Dallas from San Antonio last summer, said that the unveiling of the statue shows the company is committed to downtown.

"The historic move of Golden Boy to Dallas is the strongest signal AT&T could send about its future here. The statue is stunning and something that should be on everyone's list of things to see in Dallas," he said in a prepared statement.

John Crawford, president of DowntownDallas, said the statue provides another attraction for visitors to the city's center.

Crawford, who has been involved in an effort to get retail businesses to return in force to downtown, also said he is pleased that AT&T opened a store next to the statue.

AT&T's lobby is open to the public during normal business hours. The statue faces AT&T plaza and stands just inside the lobby entrance between Commerce and Akard streets.

No comments: