The opening of the Olympic Sculpture Park is still three weeks away, but you don't have to be in the park to see the bird. Eagle rises 39 red steel feet, smack in the middle of the park. Suspended in green space with a million-dollar view of the water, it looks like it was made for Seattle. In fact, it wasn't. It has a life story outside us. In 2000, for a sum the New York Times reported as more than $10 million (provided by collectors Jon and Mary Shirley), Seattle Art Museum bought the piece and moved it from where it was perched for 18 months outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It was commissioned in 1971 by the Fort Worth National Bank in Texas, and stood in the plaza of the corporate headquarters there. When the bank building was sold, the real-estate company bought the sculpture and sold it to an investors' group that eventually delivered it to SAM. In 2000, a year after the suits decided to ship Eagle out of Texas, a tornado hit and almost destroyed the bank skyscraper and its plaza.

Support The Stranger