This sculpture is in Lawrence’s oldest park near the historic downtown and is an abstraction of the town’s history. The WPA guide describes the city as a “Phoenix rising from the ashes” because it withstood being sacked and burned by Quantrill and his raiders in 1863. The body of the sculpture represents Lawrence in steel and stone and is bound by the curved forms of the Wakarusa and Kaw rivers. Their confluence figures in the location of the city, which rises from the gridded plain with abstract trees and the stone of Mount Oread. The tension of the time is shown with the columns that appear to be pulling in opposite directions at the ends of town. One column is capped with the dome of unity for the North, while the other column is open and represents the loosely knit confederate states.
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