Sunday, November 26, 2006

Prescott bronzesmith rejuvenates historic elk statue

[Source: Cindy Barks, Prescott Daily Courier] -- Serving as a local icon has not always been easy for "Bill." Indeed, after seven decades atop the Elks Opera House in downtown Prescott and then another three decades on the Elks Lodge #330 in Prescott Valley, the old elk statue ­ nicknamed "Bill" ­ was showing his age. With bullet holes scattered across his chest, water damage deteriorating his legs, and wind damage wearing down his antlers, "Bill" needed of a major facelift.

That is exactly what he has received. For the past month, "Bill" has been in the hands of local bronzesmith Ed Reilly, who has brought life back to the 100-year-old statue. "It's come out better than we thought it would," Reilly said this past week from his Prescott Valley foundry. After hours of restoration work, the statue is nearly ready to go back to its original home on top of the Elks Opera House on Gurley Street in downtown Prescott.

That will probably happen during the first week in December, Prescott Historic Preservation Specialist Nancy Burgess said, with an unveiling of the newly rejuvenated statue on Dec. 8 ­ just in time of the Acker Musical Showcase that evening. Meanwhile, Reilly said he plans to conduct an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday to give the public a close look at the statue. The event will take place at Reilly's studio at 7331 E. Second St., Prescott Valley. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]