Greenport osprey sculpture could be heading to Peconic

07/05/2011 5:18 PM |

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | The giant osprey sculpture at the Greenport Yacht & Shipbuilding Company may be moving to Peconic.

The giant osprey sculpture at the Greenport Yacht & Shipbuilding Company may be moving to Peconic.

Southold Town plans to accept the gift of the statue, which was built on a pedestal made of I-beams from the World Trade Center, from the group of people who commissioned it from sculptor Roberto Julio Bessin.

“It’s got to be taken down because there have been a number of 70-mile-per-hour winds here in the past ten years,” said shipyard owner Steve Clarke of the statue, which was erected in the summer of 2002, just one year after the trade center disaster. “The dock’s been hit by a number of boats, which rocks the sculpture, and a number of bronze bars have cracked or broken. The osprey’s got to come down for maintenance, and at that time we’d like to move it to a place where it’s more available to more people.”

The sculpture was commissioned a group of residents led by Jim Miller, owner of Miller Environmental. Mr. Miller had stored a large sculpture of a heron by the same sculptor at Mr. Clarke’s boatyard after his neighbors complained about its prior location at his house on the beach at Paradise Point. Mr. Miller later moved the heron back to his property and he and a group of other residents had the osprey built in its place for the public to enjoy in downtown Greenport.

Now the group has its eye on Jean W. Cochran Park on Peconic Lane in Peconic, where the North Fork Ospreys collegiate baseball team plays its summer games. The town’s public works department would like to have the sculpture moved in time to be dedicated this fall on the 10th anniversary of the September 11 disaster. “We want to have the memorial in place by 9/11 this year at Cochran Park so people can go up and touch it and feel the thickness of the twisted metal,” deputy public works director Jeff Standish told the Southold Town Board at a work session Tuesday morning.

“Where it is now, people see it, but they aren’t aware of its significance,” he added.

The sculpture, titled “Morning Call,” is 35 feet tall, including the 15-foot pedestal. It is made of bronze wire. If it is moved to Peconic, the wings would have to be cut off and then welded back on, said Mr. Standish.

Mr. Clarke hopes the sculpture will get more public attention at its new location.

“We built it just for local people and it’s had enormous notoriety and appeal locally, but it hasn’t gotten national notoriety,” he said. “I believe it’s the largest monument to the 9/11 disaster that there is anywhere in the country.”

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