Peoria, Illinois: Statue of Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor grew up in one of Peoria's more affluent brothels and died in 2005. Although some in Peoria think the comedian/movie star is a bad representative for the city, a nine-foot-tall statue of him was unveiled in May 2015. It was sculpted over nearly a decade by Preston Jackson.
Address:
SW Washington St., Peoria, IL
Directions:
South side of downtown, 3 blocks from the river, in the warehouse district. Northeast corner of SW Washington and State Sts.
RA Rates:
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Statue of Richard Pryor.

Statue of Richard Pryor

If you're a fan of comedian/actor Richard Pryor, this is a must see! The likeness is perfect. It's a bit unsettling to see the sculptor's name as prominent as his subject's.

[Mike Gassmann, 08/03/2017]

Richard Pryor statue.

Richard Pryor Statue

It's been said that the late, great Richard Pryor deserves to be on a Mount Rushmore of comedy. Although not quite of that magnitude, the newly placed, heroic-size likeness of cultural icon Richard Pryor in his hometown of Peoria is convincing, from the face to the slender form to the slightly abstracted bell bottom pants.

At first glance, the site of the sculpture, in the parking lot of a paint store, may seem peculiar. However, it's a chip shot away from the office of the Peoria Historical Society -- not a tourist facility -- and more importantly, Pryor used a location across the street in 1986 to shoot scenes of his semi-autobiographical film, "Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling," according to statue booster Community Foundation of Central Illinois.

Years ago, Pryor, who died in 2005, and his wife selected Preston Jackson, who also hails from central Illinois, to sculpt the statue, which is bronze, 7 feet 6 inches high, and stands on a concrete base. On that base, the last name of the comedy genius, but not "Richard," appears, along with the full name of the sculptor, in slightly smaller letters. A free-standing plaque offers a description of the meaning of Pryor.

[Scott Berman, 06/04/2015]

Richard Pryor statue.

Richard Pryor Statue

Weird intersection for a statue (it's right outside a paint store), but the likeness is uncanny, bell bottoms and everything. The artist's name appears three times on the statue. Guess he's proud of his work.

[Micky, 05/19/2015]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Scale Model of the Solar SystemScale Model of the Solar System, Peoria, IL - < 1 mi.
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Rooster in a Top HatRooster in a Top Hat, East Peoria, IL - 2 mi.
In the region:
Ice Cream Cone with Eyeballs, Pekin, IL - 8 mi.

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