Uniquely Baton Rouge: Eye on the river

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Louisiana is home to the mouth of the mighty Mississippi River. Now Baton Rouge can claim home to the river’s eye.

“It’s a lens to the city because it’s reflective back and to the river which this city was born from” said Davis Rhorer, Executive Director of the Downtown Development District.

This new statue along the downtown riverfront levee celebrates 100 years of Rotary in Baton Rouge by capturing everything that makes the red stick what it is. The statue was designed by Po Shu Wang and donated to the City by the Rotary Club which raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for the art.

“We think it’s going to be very popular with people coming to photograph in front of it because of it’s reflective nature” Rhorer said. “We have incredible views of both the skyline and the Mississippi River and the bridge so it’s an attraction that will bring people downtown” he said.

The statue features a 14-foot overlook off the top of the levee, giving you amazing views of the river and everything beyond. With new technology, the statue features a light display, best seen at night, and music controlled by the river’s current.

“When the water and the currents are strong there’s going to be a more robust sound then when it’s calmer it’s going to be more soothing music” Rhorer explained. “The idea is that you can come and sing with the river” he said.

While at first glance the statue resembles the likes of Cloud Gate- more commonly known as The Bean in Chicago’s Millennium Park- a closer look and you’ll see there’s nothing quite like it anywhere else.

“I’ve never seen anything like this anywhere else in Louisiana and so we think it is so unique it’s a progressive piece of sculpture, very modern and we think it is so reflective of the spirit of the city” Rhorer said.

The statue has not yet been given a name. It is located at the intersection of Florida and River Road. City-Parish leaders will officially unveil the statue with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, December 6.

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