The families arriving on the Grapevine Prairie in the mid-1840s certainly saw enough of a future in the North Texas territory to make them want to stay.
Who knows what they imagined, but its doubtful they could have envisioned a robust town of about 50,000 inhabitants, with a thriving historic downtown and home to major festivals and events.
And, in their wildest dreams, they probably never thought of the mythical animal that could become Grapevine’s new defining symbol — a winged unicorn that will soon take its place atop the city’s convention and visitors bureau headquarters on Main Street.
The Grapevine City Council has approved $60,000 from the city’s public art fund for the design, fabrication and installation of the unicorn statue. Standing 4.5 feet tall with a wingspan of 5 feet, the statue will sit at the north end of the building, which itself is a historical replication of 19th century structures.
While the city has put a lot of effort into preserving and honoring its past, Grapevine leaders see this new addition as a way to tap into the city’s imaginative spirit.
“It’s a city of dreams and imagination,” said Paul W. McCallum, executive director of the convention and visitors bureau.
Mayor Pro Tem C. Shane Wilbanks called the non-traditional sculpture “something whimsical … a representation of something that is totally different, out of the box, and becomes unique to the community.”
For some time now, Grapevine leaders have been thinking out of the box as they came up with new and exciting ways to make the town a destination spot for tourists while improving the quality of life for its residents.
There’s no doubt that the sculpture, created by Linda Lewis-Roark of Grapevine foundry and Fine Arts Program, will become the subject of much conversation.
The folks at the visitors bureau, who have always been creative, probably should begin thinking of a name for the statue besides “Unicorn Sculpture.” Because if they don’t, the residents surely will.