The Standin’ On The Corner in Winslow, Arizona Park has unfolded segment by segment; first with the land donated by the Kaufman family, next a two-story mural by Trompe L’oeil artist John Pugh and finally a life-sized bronze statue created by sculptor Ron Adamson depicting a 1970’s man standing on the corner wearing jeans, boots, shirt and vest with a guitar standing on the toe of his boot. All of this is surrounded by ground-set inscribed donor bricks each telling its own story of a fondness for Winslow by all who have stood on this famous corner and now have a permanent place there. Forever branded in the mind are the lyrics “Well I’m standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see; It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me.
Until the 1960’s, Winslow was the largest town in northern Arizona. The town enjoyed a prominent location on Route 66. Yet this prominence faded and nearly disappeared when I-40, a trans-continental highway, by-passed the community in the late 1970’s. Tourism based businesses felt the crunch and downtown business closed their doors. For the next twenty years, downtown Winslow was frozen in time.
But no more. Commencing in 1994, the Standin’ On The Corner Foundation (formerly La Posada Foundation), a non-profit corporation dedicated to the rebirth and restoration of historic downtown Winslow, provided leadership in locating funding for the acquisition of La Posada, a former Fred Harvey Hotel and Restaurant, designed by famed architect Mary E. J. Colter, which first opened for business in May 1930. With the recent renovation and reopening of La Posada Hotel by private investors, downtown Winslow has reawakened.
Building on that success, The Foundation recognized the importance of creating a park in the heart of downtown Winslow. It tapped fourteen business men and women who volunteered to put together a design concept and construction plans. That was on May 29, 1997. The unpaid and energetic volunteers, now identified as the Standin’ On The Corner in Winslow, Arizona Park Committee determined the Park would focus on the song “Take It Easy.” If it wasn’t in the song, it wouldn’t be in the Park.
As the design concept evolved, requests for proposals went out to dozens of artists and sculptors. The committee was well rewarded with an abundance of creative ideas and proposals submitted by artisans across the continent. A mural design was selected, then the bronze. Two artists were commissioned. Winslow architect Loren Sadler joined the committee in developing the design concept and construction documents.
Multi-level planters with built-in seating, native landscaping, trees, lighting and more inscribed bricks were in place for the dedication celebration on September 10 & 11, 1999. After two years of dedicated effort, it all happened as planned!