This sculpture of John Wooden captures the intensity and focus of Coach Wooden with his expressive facial features and pose. Conceived as a moment in his coaching career, he is in a kneeling position, grasping a “signature” rolled up playbook, gazing towards Bankers Life Fieldhouse. He is surrounded by the legs of his team with historically appropriate socks and footwear highlighting key periods of his basketball career and beyond. The base is encircled with the words from Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, such as confidence, honesty and cooperation.
“It was an honor to be entrusted with the responsibility of depicting Coach John Wooden,” said artist Jeffrey Rouse, who previously lived in Indianapolis. “I am struck by his passion and conviction as both a player and coach. He deeply understood the fundamentals of integrity and what was required of a team to ensure success. I had the good fortune of working with a great team to create this monument to an iconic man, including the Bright Foundry, CGM Precast and RATIO Architects.
Commemorative pillars allow Georgia Street visitors to experience Hoosier history amidst dining, shopping and entertainment. The City unveiled 10 of the 6-foot-tall structures in the inaugural class in March 2012 and plans to add two or three pillars each year. Over time, the pedestrian mall on Georgia Street will have up to 30 commemorative pillars. Honorees were chosen by a panel of historians, archivists and Hoosiers with the following requirements in mind: the person has been deceased for at least 20 years, spent a significant portion of his/her life in Indiana and that their accomplishments attained national and international recognition. Each will feature the likeness of Indiana’s finest individuals with a brief biography.
|President Benjamin Harrison: In 1881 the Civil War general was elected by the Indiana General Assembly to the U.S. Senate. As Senator he argued six cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He remains the only U.S. President elected from the State of Indiana.|
|The Lilly Family: The family of Colonel Eli Lilly, through entrepreneurial, civic and philanthropic acts, has done more for this city than can be captured in words. This honor is designed to reflect the history and generosity of the family through the decades.|
|President Abraham Lincoln: The future president spent his youth and formative years in Indiana, and no list of great Hoosiers would be complete without our nation’s 16th and most celebrated president.|
|J.L. “Wes” Montgomery: This legendary jazz guitarist, Grammy winner and Indianapolis native has been an influence on musicians for decades.|
|Ernest “Ernie” Pyle: The American journalist wrote as a roving correspondent for the Scripps Howard newspaper chain from 1935 until his death in combat during World War II. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1944.|
|Booth Tarkington: A two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author, his novels “The Magnificent Ambersons” – widely considered one of the greatest American novels of all time – and “The Gentleman from Indiana” are both master works based on Tarkington’s experiences in Indianapolis.|
|May Wright Sewall: The renowned leader of the women’s suffrage movement served as a delegate to the 1st National Suffrage Convention, was president of both the National and International Councils of Women and co-founded multiple civic organizations in Indianapolis.|
|Tecumseh: The Shawnee chief, orator, warrior and diplomat was leader of the Shawnee Confederation and one of the most important Native American leaders in history.|
|Madame C.J. Walker: This entrepreneur was the first self-made female American millionaire and the wealthiest African-American woman in America during her lifetime.|
|Lew Wallace: The Civil War General was author of the best-selling American novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ,” member of the tribunal that tried the Lincoln conspirators, governor of the New Mexico Territory and American Ambassador to the Ottomans.|