He stands 9 feet tall, keeping watch over the Naperville Riverwalk as only a cartoon cop can, but soon, the Dick Tracy sculpture will be on the move.
Developers of the Water Street District in downtown Naperville plan to relocate the sculpture in roughly four to six weeks to a new plaza being developed on the Naperville Township property at the northeast corner of Webster and Water streets.
Contractors still are finalizing designs for the exact space the sculpture will call home, said Deborah Newman, a spokeswoman for Naperville-based Marquette Companies, which is developing the Water Street District.
"The site they are looking at does dovetail with the plaza design that has already been established for the township and way it connects to the Riverwalk," Newman said.
The purpose of the move is twofold:
"The goal is to only move it once and to get it up higher out of the water line," she said.
Earlier plans to relocate the sculpture to a temporary site between the township building and the Naperville municipal center during construction were scrapped to avoid having to move the piece twice.
But Bill Novack, Naperville's director of transportation, engineering and development, said the sculpture needs to be moved while contractors build a new lower- and upper-level Riverwalk north of the Naperville Township building. The Riverwalk extension is part of a $93 million project to bring a Hotel Indigo, a banquet center, a 520-space parking garage, restaurants serving Mexican, sushi and other cuisines, shops and eventually offices to a 2.4-acre site south of the DuPage River.
"They don't want to damage him while they're working around that area," Novack said about the bronze sculpture of comic strip detective, which was installed in 2010.
The piece was designed by Naperville resident Dick Locher, who took over in 1983 drawing the comic strip created by Chester Gould in 1931. Artist Don Reed with Rivers Edge Foundry in Beloit, Wisconsin, brought Locher's design to life in a bronze sculpture commissioned by the public art nonprofit Century Walk Corp.
Brand Bobosky, Century Walk chairman, said the sculpture sometimes gets flooded up to its knees or waist after heavy rains. So the piece likely will be moved further south away from the shoreline and up a few feet to make sure viewers can get close to see it, even after rainy days.
"As long as he's got to come out," Bobosky said, "we might as well put him up on higher ground."