ELMHURST – Calling it the “Mount Rushmore of Elmhurst”, mayor Steve Morley told reporters gathered just outside the entrance to the Chicago-Elmhurst Stone Co. Monday afternoon that the city has commissioned The Elmhurst Artists’ Guild to create a monument dedicated to local heroes by sculpting the likenesses of legendary York High School Cross Country coach Joe Newton and the five members of the hometown rock band “The Orwells” into the upper north wall of the quarry’s east lobe.
The project – which will feature 75-foot tall faces of Newton and each of The Orwells – is the brainchild of EAG president Cassandra Swierenga and is intended to honor the achievements of Elmhurst natives and those who have worked in or served the community. The recent announcement of Newton’s retirement from coaching inspired Swierenga to come up with the idea. Mayor Morley said that it didn’t take long for him to sign off on the historic monument.
“This is a great way to commemorate what these individuals have done for Elmhurst,” said Morley, who on several occasions during the announcement made a direct or indirect reference to his own likeness someday joining those of Newton and Mario Cuomo, Dominic Corso, Grant Brinner, Henry Brinner and Matt O’Keefe of The Orwells. “I foresee a spike in tourism once this is complete. And if we can eventually add some faces of prominent local politicians, then it will really be something special.”
Sculpting of the monument will begin next spring and is expected to be completed by August.