By TODD WESSELL
Journal & Topics Editor
A memorial park in front of Rosemont’s Village Hall on Devon Avenue will soon become the location of large statue of the late Donald Stephens, the village’s first mayor and father of current Mayor Brad Stephens.
Work creating the park, which will include a cascading water feature, recently began and will be completed by Thanksgiving, said the current mayor. The statue will be put in place on top of the water feature next spring or summer.
“I’d like to have it done by his 80th birthday, but I don’t know if that’s doable,” said Mayor Stephens last week.
Donald Stephens became Rosemont’s first mayor in 1956 following the incorporation of the town. He served until his death in 2007 and is credited with transforming the tiny, rural area into a major entertainment and sports center next to O’Hare Airport and about 15 miles from downtown Chicago.
A committee of private business leaders in Rosemont has pledged funding for the statue. It has an expected price tag of $300,000. The total cost to develop the park could reach $1.2 million, said Stephens. Rosemont Village Board members are expected to approve the proposal at their Sept. 9 meeting.
“We’ll be selecting materials like the marble finish next week,” Mayor Stephens explained. Timeless Creations will produce the sculpture. It created the Michael Jordan statue in front of the United Center and the Haray Caray sculpture at Wrigley Field.
Anyone wishing to donate to help defray the cost of the statue can send contributions to the Village of Rosemont Finance Dept., 9501 W.Devon Ave., Rosemont, IL 60018.