Tag Archives: penguins

Arthur Kraft 1962 Chicago’s Randhurst Shopping Center Penguins and Walrus Sculptures

Children playing on the penguins at the Randhurst Shopping Center, 1962

Upon its completion in 1962, Randhurst was billed as the “largest shopping center under one roof in the world” and was the first fully enclosed shopping center in Chicagoland.

Commissioned by Victor Gruen, architect of the Randhurst Shopping Center in Mount Prospect, Illinois. The Arthur Kraft sculptures were installed in 1962 and dedicated on August 16, 1962.

Arthur Kraft working on the walrus sculpture in his Kansas City studio.

Arthur Kraft's preliminary sketches for his penguin and walrus sculptures.

Kraft was commissioned to create two sets of sculptures. A trio of penguins and a trio of walruses. The sculptures portray three stylized penguins with their flippers spread standing around facing inwards. The three stylized walruses were created in a fun circular pattern.

Children playing on the walruses at the Randhurst Shopping Center, 1962

In the 1980’s the shopping center was remodeled, a huge food court installed, and many of the Gruen-era features removed.

In 2011, after a long period of decline, Randhurst underwent a $190 million overhaul that involved demolishing most of the original center and replacing it with an open-air street of shops and additional anchor tenants.

Arthur Kraft Penguin sculptures | Randhurst Shopping Center in Mount Prospect, Illinois

Arthur Kraft Walrus sculptures | Randhurst Shopping Center in Mount Prospect, Illinois

The penguin sculptures are very similar to Arthur Kraft’s other penguin sculptures that was originally created in 1960 for the Glendale Shopping Center in Indianapolis, Indiana and is still on display at the Glendale Town Center Library entrance. And they are also similar to Kansas City’s “Court of the Penguins” Fountain at the Country Club Plaza that were cast posthumously in 1979 and dedicated on October 10, 1979.

Penguins at the Glendale Town Center in Indianapolis, Indiana

Court of the Penguins at the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri

 

Today, two out of the three of Arthur Kraft’s Randhurst Shopping Center bronze penguins have been located in Skokie, Illinois. The sculptures are being used as lawn ornaments for a condominium.

 

Skokie Boulevard Condominiums | Skokie, Illinois

Skokie Boulevard Condominiums | Skokie, Illinois

Skokie Boulevard Condominiums | Skokie, Illinois

Skokie Boulevard Condominiums | Skokie, Illinois

 

Arthur Kraft’s Walrus sculpture from the Randhurst Shopping Center is also being used as a lawn ornament at Kale Court Apartments in Skokie, Illinois.

 

Kale Court Apartments | Skokie, Illinois


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Arthur Kraft 1979 Country Club Plaza “Court of the Penguins” Fountain

One of Arthur Kraft’s best known works in the Kansas City area is the “Court of the Penguins” Fountain at 525 Nichols Road on the Country Club Plaza.

The bronze penguin sculptures were cast posthumously in 1979 and dedicated on October 10, 1979.

The sculpture includes two free-standing pedestal fountains each approximately five feet tall on either side of the penguin grouping. There are three bronze penguins each approximately five feet tall, in varying positions of outstretched wings, on the east, west and south of a Spanish ‘clover-leaf’ area of paved brick.

The basins of each fountain are quatrefoil in shape and constructed of red stone. Each fountain has two basins, an upper and lower, which flow into one another. Three griffins, placed back-to-back, support the lower, larger basin. Figures of dolphins are featured between the griffins.

This sculpture is very similar to Arthur Kraft’s other penguin sculpture that he originally created in 1960 for the Glendale Shopping Center in Indianapolis, Indiana and is still on display at the Glendale Town Center Library entrance.

Arthur Kraft's Wynkin, Blynkin and Nod sculpture in Indianapolis, Indiana


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Arthur Kraft 1960 Indianapolis Glendale Shopping Center Penguins Sculpture

Commissioned by Victor Gruen, architect of the Glendale Shopping Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Arthur Kraft sculpture was installed in 1960 and dedicated on October 12, 1960.

The sculpture portrays three golden, stylized penguins with their flippers spread standing around a silver ball, facing inwards. The three unsigned polished bronze penguins dimensions are overall approximately 51 x 72 x 58 in. with the tallest penguin being approximately 51 x 30 x 33 in. (350 lbs.).

The shopping center was enclosed in the 1970s to become the Glendale Mall, situating the Arthur Kraft sculpture indoors at that time.

Penguins at the Glendale Mall, 2005

In 2008, after nearly 50 years of serving the Indianapolis community, Glendale Mall was completely redesigned. To commemorate the new Glendale Town Center’s expansive makeover and grand reopening, Indianapolis design company, Sandpaper Studio was commissioned to create a new environment for the penguin area.

The grand reopening occurred on July 26, 2008 and featured a snow canopy over the penguin statues, iceberg blocks and a mix of playful and historic images from Glendale’s past, the space created an environment that celebrated the Center’s historical community presence and its purpose in the future.

“Designers can make a social difference with local projects,” states Torrey Dawley, owner of Sandpaper Studio, “and we are really excited to be creating a new home for the penguins where they serve as symbols of community for another generation.”

Current location at the Glendale Town Center lower level Library entrance

 

From the Glendale Town Center website:

The Legends Live On at Glendale Town Center.
With the help of our wonderful sponsors, Glendale Town Center boasts a new home for Wynkin, Blynkin and Nod, Indianapolis’ adventurous penguin trio! The statues were originally created as a gift to the first opening of Glendale Mall nearly 50 years ago, and have since become symbols of our incredible community. Kids of all ages will enjoy the experience, so swing by for a visit! The Legends Live On area is open the hours of the Library and is located on the lower level at the Library entrance.


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