Giant loon sculpture to be installed in United Village development next summer

A giant loon sculpture will be added to the planned park area near Allianz Field next summer, officials say.

Minnesota United and Snelling Midway Redevelopment announced news of the sculpture on Friday.

Commissioned by the McGuire Family Foundation, the artwork is on track to be installed in the area on the southeast corner of the Snelling Avenue and University Avenue intersection after the public park there is finished.

RELATED: St. Paul City Council approves playground, sculpture park project around Allianz Field

“The role that art will play in the United Village development has been part of its planning from the very beginning,” Dr. Bill McGuire, the former UnitedHealth Group CEO and current Minnesota United owner, said. “We feel strongly that art can be an important part of communities and should be accessible, have wide appeal, and be an integral part of the area. When we came across Andy’s work, discussed his vision and approach with him and saw his sketch ideas, it was obvious that this work would be an extraordinary addition to the community. The appropriate site for it was clearly the most prominent and visible location possible where it could be optimally viewed by and interact with the people in the community, Minnesotans from throughout the state, and visitors from everywhere.”

The sculpture, which is being created by renowned Scottish artist Andy Scott — the creator of several award-winning art installations around the world, including The Kelpies — will be nearly 33 feet tall and 88 feet wide, depicting a loon taking flight.

“When I was first introduced to the project and the opportunity, our study of the possibilities made it quickly apparent that there was one truly compelling possible route to take – and that was with a representation of the Loon,” Scott said in a statement. “It’s so symbolic of Minnesota, the natural environment that has helped define it, and the people who have called it home throughout its history. The Loon has a unique and enduring place in the hearts of all Minnesotans and is a cause for such great civic pride.”

The park where it will sit was designed by Populous, the architectural firm that designed Allianz Field. Officials say there are also plans for the United Village development to include a unique all-abilities play area for children, a distinctive hotel, two pavilion restaurants, a mixed-use building and other public artwork.

This rendering shows the planned loon sculpture to sit in the United Village development. (Courtesy: MNUFC/Snelling Midway Redevelopment)
Work continues on the planned loon sculpture that will sit in the United Village development. (Courtesy: MNUFC/Snelling Midway Redevelopment)