Dr. Robert H. Goddard is everywhere you look in Roswell.
The rocket scientist who lived in Roswell from 1930 to 1942 has a high school and planetarium named after him, not to mention his own exhibition in the Roswell Museum and Art Center. And now, Roswellâ€™s golden boy graces the north courtyard of the art museum in bronzed form.
MainStreet Roswell held a dedication ceremony for a newly-minted statue of Goddard, â€œVisions of Space,â€â€ˆat 10 a.m., on Friday.
Mayor Del Jurney, along with MainStreet Roswell Director Dusty Huckabee, and Museum Director Laurie Rufe, spoke to the 40-person- strong crowd that gathered off Main Street.
â€œ[The statue] allows us to visualize at the doorstep who we are and what weâ€™re about,â€â€ˆthe mayor said from the podium before he cut the red ribbon.
The statue features Goddard standing in the doorframe of a launch shed, one hand holding a spotting telescope and the other poised at the launchpad keyboard. It faces the existing rocket tower to give the impression he is about to launch one of his liquid-fueled rockets which he invented in 1926.
â€œItâ€™s a little larger than life,â€â€ˆRufe said, adding it stood over 9 feet tall. â€œItâ€™s a heroic size, but not too heroic.â€
The $245,000 sculpture was funded by a grant from MainStreet New Mexico, something MainStreet Roswell Director Huckabee has been pushing for since September 2006. Additional financial support came from Spring River Corridor Foundation and the Roswell Museum and Art Center.
But the artist from Brentwood, Md.,â€ˆwho sculpted the statue, Steven Weitzman, is not done with the art museumâ€™s courtyard just yet. He next wants to erect a statue of Goddardâ€™s documentarian wife, Esther Kisk, filming his launch.