| “They express the immutable calm of intellectual resolution, and the enormous power of trained physical strength, equally enthroned in placid triumph of scientific accomplishment.”
The above words represent how sculptor, Oskar J.W. Hansen, described his representation of the 30 foot tall “Winged Figures of the Republic,” as Hansen so named them. These bronze statues were strategically placed in front of the dam. Hansen believed it fitting to pay tribute to the character of the more than 5000 men who dared to brave the challenging elements of the working conditions to create an engineering marvel that would forever change the living environment of the southwestern United States.
These 2 winged goddesses, as one might think of them, stand majestically 30 feet high, and contain more than 4 tons of statuary bronze. The figures were formed from sand molds weighing more than 492 tons, and the bronze was heated to 2500 degrees Fahrenheit, and poured into molds in one continuous, molten stream. To place the statues was a well-thought-out marvel in itself. The figures rest on a base of black diorite, which is an igneous rock, and in order to place the block base on top of the marble floor without scarring the finish, the bases were placed on blocks of ice and guided into place as the ice melted.
Over the past 77 years the two Winged Figures of the Republic have diligently protected Hoover Dam from wars, harsh environmental conditions, and the millions of curious travelers who meander across the dam on a daily basis. These lovely trophies will continue to protect and provide beauty to what was and still is described as an engineering marvel.
On behalf of the Boulder City Museum and Historical Association.