McALLEN — Bronze statues have popped up across McAllen this year, thanks to a local sculptor.
A firefighter, comforting two girls, sits outside the fire administration building on North 21st Street. An irrigation worker walks along Nolana Avenue, carrying a shovel.
They’re cousins, of sorts, to the bronze service members stationed at the Veterans War Memorial of Texas, located near the McAllen Convention Center. All were created by Douglas Clark, a sculptor who agreed to create several sculptures for the city in exchange for studio space.
Clark created the statues at the University of Texas-Pan American’s arts foundry, where he also teaches classes. Before moving to McAllen, Clark worked as a welder and studied bronze-work in Mexico City.
McAllen has also begun several major construction projects this year, including the transformation of a former Walmart building at 23rd Street and Nolana into a library, and moving the Boeye Reservoir south. Once the reservoir project is finished, city leaders hope to attract a major retail store to the site.
City leaders have discussed selling the Civic Center Auditorium and using the property to attract a major retail store. Developers have long been interested in the land, and it’s not clear when such a deal might take place.
A park that opened Aug. 7 at 29th Street and Zinnia Avenue has attracted huge crowds. The “sprayground,” where small streams of water spurt from the ground, has proved popular with children, and the city commission has talked about adding additional locations.