The ultimate goal remains the same: some day unveiling a larger-than-life statue of Harry S. Truman. To raise awareness of the ongoing effort to honor America's 33rd President with a statue to be erected at a place of prominence in the Kansas City area, Jackson County is displaying a "maquette" of Truman on the second floor of the Courthouse in Kansas City.
The scale model depicts a 26-foot tall Truman statue standing between the southern entrances of historic Union Station, the site where the Native Sons and Daughters of Greater Kansas City initially proposed placing a bronze-cast sculpture in 2005. Renowned artist Bruce Wolfe created the maquette, featuring Truman tipping his hat in a statue sitting on top of what would be a 20-foot high granite pedestal.
"President Truman understood we have a great obligation in the present to preserve our past," said County Executive Mike Sanders as he and County Legislative Vice Chairman Greg Grounds accepted the maquette, on behalf of all Jackson County citizens, from the Native Sons and Daughters during a news conference Monday, February 7. "A 26-foot tall statue of President Truman adorning Union Station or some other place of significance would be our way in the present of honoring what Harry Truman achieved in the past. Our hope is displaying this maquette in the courthouse that Harry S. Truman built will create energy for moving this project forward."
Native Sons and Daughters Past President John Dillingham shares Sanders' optimism that moving the maquette out of storage at Union Station and now putting it on displaying on the second floor of the Jackson County Courthouse will generate interest in raising a full-scale statue.
"We will not lose the dream of putting a statue up on a platform," said Dillingham.
Sanders noted Truman's commitment to local history. As the Presiding Judge of Jackson County in 1933, Truman oversaw both the construction of the new courthouse in Kansas City and the remodeling of the historic courthouse on Independence Square. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972, the courthouse on Independence Square is now commonly referred to as the "Truman Courthouse."
The Kansas City Museum provided the display case that houses the maquette, and Paul Churchill, owner of Monarch Fine Arts Services, donated his company's services to transport the display from Union Station to the courthouse in Kansas City.