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Grade A Giants

We all love our Roadside Giants, but rarely think about where the next generation of oversized distractions will come from. Today’s wide-eyed children, with dreams of four-story-high Labradoodles and towering fruit roll-ups, will need encouragement — and cash — to realize their own visions of entertaining enormousness.

Gas Pump sculpture.So when The Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor came up with the “Roadside Giants Project” we couldn’t help but react with a hearty, Paul-Bunyan-worthy “hoorah!” The LHHC applied for and received a grant from The Sprout Fund and used the money to fund the creation of brand new ginormous statues, designed and built by Pennsylvania students from career and technology centers along the famous road (with help from a structural engineer.)

The series of five much-larger-than-life-size landmarks are all made from steel and iron, according to Olga Herbert, executive director of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor. “The students did an amazing job,” she wrote us. The works include:

  • A gas pump (Ligonier Township).
  • A bicycle built for two (Second Time Around shop in Jennerstown) — it joins a nine-foot-tall praying mantis already on the property.
  • A 20-ft. tall quarter (near the Down River Golf course in Everett).
  • A Packard car (New Stanton).

The final creation in the series — a two-ton replica of a 1920 Selden pickup truck — was dedicated in June 2009 and is parked near Shatzer’s Fruit Market in Hamilton Township. The quarter, bicycle, and Packard are all flat silhouettes cut out of metal, and resemble super-sized shadow puppets. The gas pump and truck are more complex three-dimensional creations.

Existing Lincoln Highway colossal classics The Coffee Pot (Bedford) and The Shoe House (York) stood by stoically and had no comment. [Post by Anne D. Bernstein]

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