PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria Park District Board of Trustees recently denied a request from the Uplands Residential Association and the West Bluff Council which would have placed a statue of the Greek Goddess Hebe in Laura Bradley Park.
The statue would have been in the same spot as the Christopher Columbus statue which was removed in 2020.
A statue of Hebe was in Laura Bradley Park until it was removed in the 1950’s. Conrad Stinnett, President of the West Bluff Council, said he was surprised the board denied the request for the new statue.
“Hebe had been here since World War I through the late 1950’s so it was something that had been here before, that the trustees at the park district at the time thoroughly endorsed, and had history here, and we thought it would be the perfect thing to replace the Columbus statue,”, Stinnett said.
Stinnett also said he is willing to work with the park district but still holds out hope for a statue of Hebe in Laura Bradley Park.
“You don’t move forward unless you dialogue and compromise, we’re willing to do that, but we want more than grass, and right now Hebe is I think the best choice,” he said.
Peoria Park District Board of Trustees President Robert Johnson sent a statement to WMBD about the issue.
The statement says: “The District is focused on providing vibrant spaces in our parks. We believe that the best way to do that is to move away from statues and consider amenities that support visitor experience and engagement in our parks. We are committed to making our parks the best they can be and believe that the process we have put into place to research other options beyond a statue will result in a dynamic addition to Laura Bradley Park that supports local residents and visitors.”