UPDATE: Rockford Symbol Turns 35

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The park district is repainting the Symbol for its 35th anniversary.

They've been working with a paint expert to try and match the original color, often referred to as vermillion red, to modern day paints.

They'll be out there until dusk on Tuesday, but it won't affect the Rock River Recreation Path.


ROCKFORD (WIFR) – A popular local statue could soon look like it did more than three decades ago. Right now, the Park District is trying to find a very rare and specialized paint to match the Rockford Symbol at Sinnissippi Park.

The Community is celebrating the structure’s 35th anniversary in the Stateline this year.

For the last 35 years, Rockford’s big red symbol has been whatever we want it to be. Our imagination has taken us far however, the 30-ton sculpture has always been nearby.

It was customized for our city by Alexander Lieberman, a world famous artist whose designs can be found in several big cities.
The 4-story high art piece wasn’t always considered a “sight for sore eyes”, instead an eye-sore. After a lot of debate in the late ’70’s, the structure was relocated from the city’s downtown mall to the Sinnissippi bike path. It now waits for a $12,000 make-over.

More than 33,000 cars pass by the Symbol every day, adding up to more than 12 million drivers a year.

Doc Slafosky, one of the owners of J. Kortman is one of those gawkers and a major advocate for the piece. He travels the world with a small bookend promoting what he calls, the best of Rockford.

“It’s very distinctive and for Rockford to have this visual icon, so I thought this would be something good to do,” said Slafosky.
All five of the first graders we interviewed recognized the symbol. Local artists like Doc say our city should have the same recognition worldwide.

The Rockford Park District says they are looking for a specific red, called “Vermilion Red”. A lot of people think the structure is orange, however we’re told it’s faded to that color. Employees say once the color is matched, they’ll start painting right away.


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