Ready to Fly
The beautiful Shandaken Eagle statue sits on a grassy knoll near the Esopus Creek, marking the entrance to the Catskills hamlet of Phoenicia, New York. It is located at the junction of Route 28 and Route 214.
The two-ton sculpture, with a wingspan of 13 feet, once stood atop one of the towers of Grand Central Depot at the intersection of Park Avenue and 42nd Street in New York City. The eagle was installed in 1871 at Grand Central, along with 10 others like it. With the remodeling of Grand Central in 1898 the statue was taken down and would spend the next eight decades in storage.
In 1975 the town of Shandaken adopted the eagle as its official town symbol. In 1980, David McLane, a photographer for the New York Daily News and then owner of the eagle, moved to Shandaken and agreed to donate the eagle to the town. Various fundraising efforts were undertaken to raise the funds to move, repair and erect the bird at Phoenicia. Dakin Morehouse, a metal sculptor in Woodland Valley, restored the sculpture at his Phoenicia Forge, replacing its original white cement coating with a protective bronze surface.
With much fanfare, the sculpture was dedicated at its current Phoenicia location on August 23, 1986. There is a time capsule buried near the eagle that will be opened in 2076, the tri-centennial of the nation’s founding.