New sculptures will be added to Russell Salvatore’s Heroes and Patriots Park in Lancaster by the end of this month in a multimedia toast to America’s most cherished icons, according to artist Donald R. Parrino.
The icons include the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. Capitol, which will be illuminated.
Also represented will be replicas of the American Falls and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.
Parrino compiled the list of patriotic icons by researching U.S. postage stamps. He found Lady Liberty to be depicted on stamps more than any other subject.
Not that the seven giant artworks already in place don’t turn heads. Visitors frequently stop to photograph the restaurateur’s outdoor art collection, which includes his mausoleum and memorials to Flight 3407 and the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers.
“Most locals don’t even know about the park, but out-of-towners who stay at his hotel are always snapping pictures and asking for my autograph,” said Parrino. “I’m always out here working. I orchestrate the existence of these things.”
The growing number of installations in front of Salvatore’s Grand Hotel at 6675 Transit Road makes Parrino a fixture on this bustling stretch of Transit Road.
Gary Bolles, co-owner of Buffalo Architectural Casting on Hinman Avenue, is involved in historic restoration and architectural ornamentation. He has been involved in many of the installations, including the new Purple Heart Medal statue.
Standing 14 feet high and extending 20 feet across, the statue depicts an eagle in flight landing on a giant replica of the military decoration Purple Heart, which is awarded to servicemen and women killed or wounded.
“Everything is made from scratch, sculpted from clay and plaster,” said Bolles. “The materials were created to weather the extreme conditions throughout the year.”
The likeness of George Washington that distinguishes the heart-shaped medal will be in gold leaf and likely glisten in the sun, Bolles said. He described the outdoor art as a group endeavor.
“It’s a communal effort of many different talents,” said Bolles. “Parrino is the idea man. He brings it to us. We sculpt it and imbed steel to make it work. It’s beautiful, but it needs to be functional, too. We’ve done a few of these monuments.”
Sculptor Leo Lysy also participated in the Purple Heart statue.
The unveiling will occur before the end of the month, Bolles said. Also scheduled to debut is an aluminum replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. It measures 12 feet long, 7 feet deep and 10 feet tall.
“Russell Salvatore had a dream about this park,” Parrino said. “And now it’s a reality.”