Written by By S , CNN North Dakota Bureau
The first U.S. president to be born west of the Mississippi River will be relocated from the White House to his presidential library in North Dakota.
President Theodore Roosevelt left New York City in 1884 and later became America’s 22nd president. Before his death in 1919, he was able to lead the country during both of its depressions.
His 38.5-foot bronze statue stands in Washington’s Washington Square Park as the first example of the type of public art that is to go to North Dakota.
The project, “Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt,” is to be completed by 2019 at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, which is located near the Interstate 94 (State Highway 10) intersection of Highway 55 and I-94 in Pembina, North Dakota.
The sculpture will have a premiere during the 25th birthday of North Dakota’s new James J. Hill Memorial Bridge in 2017. Hill is the state’s 13th president and Chairman of the Board of the railroad that started building the modern state’s official interstate system.
Executive Director and Chief Development Officer Jodi DuVall at the North Dakota state legislature’s historic building in Bismarck. Credit: Billings Gazette via AP Images/The New York Times
The following year, Roosevelt’s bronze likeness will be be moved from Washington Square Park to the site, which was donated by railroad company Rockefeller Brothers’ American Express.
The plot, which occupies an acre and a half, was formerly used as a training school for railroadmen and those who would follow in the footsteps of Roosevelt’s young footsteps.
The statue was unveiled in 1916. Now a modest memorial site, not far from Roosevelt’s friend, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, has been on the agenda of restoring the site’s heritage since 1988, when the state acquired the land.
“It is very rare for a statue to be moved from one location to another, and the Pembina Ronald Reagan Memorial Site was selected because it is a great location for Theodore Roosevelt,” Executive Director and Chief Development Officer Jodi DuVall at the North Dakota state legislature’s historic building in Bismarck.
The governor of North Dakota had led the push to acquire the site, along with the support of the state legislature.
The sculpture of Theodore Roosevelt is set to go into its new home next year Credit: NYC Public Works Agency
Once Roosevelt’s statue is in place, the symbolic symbolism behind the move will be at the heart of a new section of the President’s Recreation Trail, which will preserve and restore the historical places and sites that surrounded the former presidency.
North Dakota is America’s newest state, born in 1889. In 1916, the first citizens became citizens, giving the North Dakota state constitution a strong emphasis on preservation.
The project is being supported by some of the highest levels of corporate, civic and charitable donations, including provisions for 4,000 new park and forest areas.
Roland Bowron, Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Foundation’s managing director of development, said he expected the bronze statue to attract significant attention during Roosevelt’s bicentennial in 2019.
The head and torso of the statue, by artist Donald Russell (pictured), will travel via train and barge to its new home. Credit: Donald Russell
“We were interested in making this a truly public art collection — one of the largest ever,” he said.
The project is taking place in conjunction with the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site.
“We’ve been talking about the site’s importance to American history since we were small, but it became increasingly important to this part of the state that the people that are going to be living here know about it,” DuVall said.