Friends Edison, Ford and Firestone, fathers of the American
Industrial 20th century'.
the dedication of 'Henry Ford' the portrait bust at the entrance to the
Henry Ford winter home. Mayor
Art Hamel of Fort Myers asks the sculptor D.J. Wilkins to 'make
something for our new Centennial Park'.
one year of consultation and research, including many conversations with
James Newton, a close
personal friend of Edison, Ford and Firestone, The design was presented
to Fort Myers Beautification Committee.
With their recommendation, the City Council agreed to have the
sculptor create his 'Uncommon Friends' as the centerpiece of the new
riverfront park, which marked the first 100 years of the City.
fountain includes a 40-foot diameter pool with a 20-foot island. On the
island are the over life size figures of Edison, Ford and Firestone in a
the water around the island are life size figures of alligators (mother
and 5 babies), a mother manatee and her baby, 16 fish, 4 floating lily
pad groups that are also on piped as fountain heads. 12 Frogs as
fountain heads are on 6 small island around the campers.
The complex fountain monument was engineered, piped, wired and
construction by the sculptor. The Sculptor was ask to redraw the
walkways to harmonize with the monument along with designing and
construct a sign for our new park.
monument was titled 'Uncommon Friends" with the blessing of Jim
Newton, author of the book by the same name.
documentary 'Uncommon Friends of the 20th Century ' was completed and
ready for P.B.S. national broadcast in the spring of 2000.
The one-hour documentary depicts the life of these famous men as
seen thru the eyes of their friend Jim Newton. Six year in the making,
it is narrated by Walter Cronkite.
'Uncommon Friends' monument is the sculptural symbol of the City of Fort
Myers. It is to the city
what the 'arch' is to St Louis.
fame and contributions of these men are well known, but this is a
monument to friendship not fame.
Voted the best public artwork is South Florida by Gulf Coast magazine, it continues to inspire and inform.
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