Penn State Intercom......August
Nittany Lion weathervane
to prowl atop stadium
By Tysen Kendig
Mount Nittany may no longer be able to peer into the renovated confines
of Beaver Stadium, at least one of the mountain's former inhabitants will
still have the best seat in the house when the Nittany Lions take the
field on Sept. 1.
weathervane likeness of the Penn State Nittany Lion, handcrafted by Martha's
Vineyard sculptor Travis Tuck, has taken a permanent home 110 feet above
the southwest corner of Beaver Stadium.
weathervane was commissioned by UniversityTrustee Joel N. Myers, founder
and president of State College-based AccuWeather Inc.It measures 10 feet
in length, three feet in width, and nine feet in height, and tips the
scales at 2,000 pounds. Although the massive sculpture may not be able
to predict the winds of fortune that await the football team this year,
a combination of stainless steel ball-and-roller bearings will allow fans
to gauge actual wind direction at the stadium.
"We believe this
to be the second-largest working weathervanein the world," said Kathy
Tackabury, spokesperson for Travis Tuck. The weathervane was hand- built
of 1/8 -inch copper plate utilizing repousse, a traditional folk art technique
of metalwork also used to construct the Statue of Liberty. The armature
that supports the actual sculpture is made of stainless steel and weighs
more than 700 pounds. The pattern for the sculpture was created using
a four-foot, plaster of paris casting of the Nittany Lion made from a
mold provided by the University. Using this model, sculptors Travis Tuck
and Anthony Holand created 100 pattern pieces that enabled a proportionate
recreation of the lion.
Tuck has designed
original commissioned pieces in 43 states and 12 countries over a period
of 34 years. He is best known as a sculptor of fine custom weathervanes,
with a clientele that includes President and Mrs. Clinton, movie producer
StevenSpielberg, former U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, and entertainers James
Taylor and Carly Simon.
The Nittany Lion
weathervane was transported from Martha's Vineyard via flatbed trailer
and affixed to its permanent home overlooking Beaver Stadium on Thursday,
is a symbolic addition to the $93 million Beaver Stadium
expansion and renovation project, tying together the University's strong
athletic tradition with its world-renowned meteorology
program. The department, perennially ranked No. 1 in the nation, prepares
the daily weather report for The New York Times and other media
outlets. In addition, a recent survey found that one of every four meteorologists
in the United States is a Penn State graduate.
Tysen Kendig can
be reached at email@example.com.