Robinson-Shuba Statue Will Include Seating Area

YOUNGSTOWN – The Jackie Robinson-George Shuba handshake statue will be surrounded by seating for educational purposes and reflection.
An artist’s rendering of the statue, crafted by Youngstown-based BSHM Architects, was released today. It portrays the statue with seating areas, visitors and downtown buildings in the background. The seating is sufficient to support a classroom of students as they learn about the handshake and its importance.

“The statue will be a very visible addition to downtown Youngstown and an excellent place for scheduled events and informal reflection,” said Katie Spires, an architect with BSHM and member of the committee developing the memorial. “The rows of seating east of the statue can support scheduled programming, and the smaller seating areas on the other side will enable visitors to linger and reflect.”

The statue will be located between Covelli Centre and the Market Street Bridge in the riverfront Wean Park.

BSHM is donating its services for the project. In addition to the rendering, the firm has designed the statue environment and is working on securing building contractors for the site.

Established in Youngstown in 1962, BSHM is known for designing dozens of prominent Ohio buildings, including the Ford Family Recital Hall and Mahoning Valley History Center in downtown Youngstown, along with the Beecher Center for Technology, McDonough Museum of Art and Maag Library on the Youngstown State University campus.

The statue will mark the 1946 handshake of Jackie Robinson, the first African-American player in mainstream professional baseball, and George Shuba, his white teammate from Youngstown. The larger-than-life memorial is scheduled for dedication on April 18, 2021, the 75th anniversary of the historic handshake.

The initial rendering of the statue is part of the package that will soon be submitted to the City of Youngstown design review board for review and approval. Discussions recently began with labor unions and contractors interested in being part of the project.

Pictured at top: Artist’s rendering of the Jackie Robinson-George Shuba handshake statue, which will be erected in Wean Park next year.

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