MacArthur Statue Relocation Partnership

IBEWFor many years the statue of General MacArthur was located in the largely inaccessible and deteriorated site in MacArthur Square. Veterans throughout the community expressed concern and recommended that the statue be moved to the lakefront.

Several months ago, VCRT MacArthur Forum, Inc., (VCRT MacArthur) the nonprofit running the 2014 MacArthur Memorial Week, agreed to assume responsibility for securing the necessary government approvals, funding and decision making under the auspices of both the Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Culture & Recreation and the Milwaukee County War Memorial. Veteran Greg West chaired the move for VCRT.

VCRT contacted The Boldt Company (Boldt), Doral Corporation (Doral) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 494, AFL-CIO (Local 494, IBEW) who then volunteered to donate their services to complete this relocation. Boldt restored the old site, prepared the new site and created the pedestal and footings for the statue. Doral provided the riggings and transportation of the statue from MacArthur Square to an inside location for careful cleaning and then to the lakefront site. Together, Boldt and Doral mounted and secured the statue on the new pedestal. Local 494, IBEW provided the electrical components in the footings and pedestal as well as the actual lighting services and materials for the statue.

As good citizens, Boldt, Doral and Local 494, IBEW provided over $65,000 worth of donated services and material in removing the statue and restoring the MacArthur Square site, cleaning and moving the statue to Veterans Park, preparing the site including building a new pedestal, lighting and mounting the statue.

Moving the MacArthur statue also involved various approvals from both the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County including the Parks Department. There were issues along the way but the spirit of public/private cooperation resulted in resolving location, moving and insurance issues. VCRT MacArthur, Boldt, Doral, Local 404, IBEW, city and county officials and veterans all sensed the importance of the moment and worked together to finalize all approvals, make the move, prepare the site, clean and mount the MacArthur statue.

Labor and management along with the public sector, working together, made this historic contribution to support the WMC and enhance the beautiful Milwaukee lake front to better serve the public. This collaboration is an example of how this community can and should address its challenges and opportunities.