The eagle has landed
A noble golden bird swooped in for a landing and a week of restorative nesting June 4 as the Wyndham Virginia Crossings Hotel & Conference Center lowered its landmark golden eagle from atop the Jefferson Building.
The 3000-pound eagle sculpture was removed by a 160-ton crane, the largest available in the commonwealth, under the supervision of the Glen-Allen based Chesin Construction Company.
After some delicate maneuvering, the bird was brought to earth and laid in a specially-prepared “nest” on the side of the Jefferson Building, where it will be repaired and re-gilded.
Wyndham’s Golden Eagle has perched atop the cupola of the Jefferson Building since the mid-1980’s, when Virginia Crossings was the headquarters of Figgie International. Legend has it that Chairman Harry Figgie won the eagle in a golf match against a fellow CEO at the adjacent Crossings Golf Course.
General Manager Bob Nelson noted at the removal that he has heard speculation that the fellow CEO was August Busch, Jr. – especially since the eagle’s stance bears a distinct resemblance to that of the eagle in the Anheuser-Busch logo.
“It’s well-known that Harry Figgie and August Busch were buddies, and there was an affiliation between Anheuser-Busch and Figgie International,” said Nelson. “That’s where the legend originated. But we haven’t established the actual lineage of the tale . . and we can’t confirm it because [the parties to the alleged bet] are dead.”
The eagle, which stands a full 75 feet above the grounds of the hotel’s Georgian buildings and is visible to I-95 motorists, has wings gilded in 24-carat gold. In recent years, however, the bird’s glittering plumage dulled as it took a beating from the weather and the winds of Hurricane Irene.
After a week of rest in its "nest," the regal bird will be restored to its perch atop the cupola in a June 11 ceremony to include hotel staff and local residents. Representatives of the Central Virginia USO and the Richmond Fisher House have also been invited to attend, said Brown.
"We will make donations to the groups and re-dedicate the eagle in tribute to the folks who put themselves in harm's way," Brown said. "It's only fitting."
The re-installation of the Golden Eagle will cap the recently-completed $3 million Phase I renovation program at the Wyndham Virginia Crossings Hotel & Conference Center, which included an overhaul of lobbies and meeting space and the addition of new gardens, reception areas and recreational facilities. Phase II plans are underway for renovation of the hotel’s 183 guestrooms and suites, to be completed by 2013.
The June 11 re-dedication ceremony, which is open to the public, will begin with the re-installation of the eagle at 10:45 a.m. The Wyndham Virginia Crossings is located at 1000 Virginia Center Pkwy. in Glen Allen. For information, call 727-1400.
Henrico County Recreation and Parks will present “Red, White, and Lights” at Meadow Farm Museum/Crump Park July 4.
Henrico County has hosted a Fourth of July celebration annually since 1981, but this year’s event will offer a later start time and expanded hours and be highlighted by new entertainment.
The free event will begin at 4:30 p.m. and will feature the Richmond Symphony, a laser-light show, patriotic performances, and family activities. > Read more.
The Tuckahoe Family YMCA and ReEstablish Richmond will host the third-annual Refugee Community Resource Fair Saturday, June 18, from 10 a.m. to noon at the YMCA, 9211 Patterson Avenue in Henrico. The event is designed to provide refugees in the region information about jobs, local businesses, housing, health care, education and more.
As part of its strategic plan, the YMCA of Greater Richmond works to identify, address and eliminate economic, geographic and cultural barriers. > Read more.
For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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