Rising Cardinal, created by Morgantown-based sculptor Jamie Lester, took flight on Sunday, Sept. 26, when it was unveiled in uptown Beckley.
Dozens came out to see the sculpture and the new plaza that is located at the corner of Heber and Neville streets.
“I still marvel at the beautiful concrete work, and we were talking earlier about the work that went into filling the former hole and making this beautiful plaza as we see it today,” said Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold, referencing a conversation he had with plaza designer Sam Rich of Thrasher Engineering. He continued that a lot of work goes into filling a hole like the old Beckley Hole, but that the dedication of designers, engineers and Beckley officials made it possible.
Lester added that “For me, this piece represents . . . the greatness that Beckley has to offer rising up. And it’s a great symbol for West Virginia as well. I hope that the people in the community here can embrace this piece as a symbol for uptown.”
Engineer Jeff Edwards assisted with designing the sculpture. The plaza was constructed by the Beckley Public Works department with landscaping by Green River Landscaping.