Statue from courthouse might retire to campus

After 28 years of standing tall in Fort Worth’s Paddock Park, a statue of entrepreneur and philanthropist Charles Tandy may be moved to campus, a university official said.

A proposal by the Fort Worth Art Commission may move the 8-foot bronze statue to the front of Tandy Hall by the end of the year, said Woody Bruner, project manager for installing the Tandy statue.

The statue, developed by artist Jim Reno, has stood north of the Tarrant County Courthouse in Paddock Park since 1980, according to a Fort Worth Public Art press release.

Bruner said the proposition was made after it was announced that Paddock Park is being redesigned as part of last year’s Downtown Fort Worth Public Art Plan. If the proposition is approved by the city council, the city will lend the statue to the university, and all costs of maintaining the statue will be paid by the Anne Burnett Tandy and Charles D. Tandy Foundation, Bruner said.

TCU is still waiting for an official loan agreement from the city, he said.

If TCU accepts the statue, university architects will develop a site plan near Tandy Hall and design a new, lowered pedestal that will allow the sculpture to be more accessible and closer to eye level, Bruner said

Bill Moncrief, senior associate dean of the Neeley School of Business, said Tandy is very important to the TCU community and the business school, with the building named after him and his portrait hanging in the hall.

“The community has always wanted to honor Mr. Tandy,” Moncreif said. “Putting a statue in front of the business school is another great way to commemorate his long dedication to the city.”

Tandy is the founder and philanthropist of Tandy Corp, which was originally a leather business. Over the years his company grew and became Pier 1 Imports Inc., Leonard’s Department Store, Color Tile and RadioShack Corp. In 2000, Tandy Corp. changed its name to RadioShack Corp.

Jennifer Conn, Fort Worth’s public art collection manager, said the statue was a gift to the city from a foundation established by Tandy’s wife, Anne Burnett Tandy, after his death.

Although the area in Paddock Park is visible, the statue seems to be lost by its surroundings, Conn said.

“The new location would be a wonderful way to honor a man who made such a long-lasting impact on the city of Fort Worth,” Conn said.

Conn said the Fort Worth Art Commission made its final recommendation on Aug. 4.

The city council will submit a final vote to decide whether the statue moves to TCU, but a date has not been set, Conn said.