Mississippi Guardian Birds - CODAworx

Mississippi Guardian Birds

Client: Saint Paul Parks and Recreation

Location: Saint Paul, MN, United States

Completion date: 2005

Artwork budget: $150,000

Project Team


Douglas Freeman

Doug Freeman Studio

Landscape Architect

Bob Close

Close Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architect

Jean Garbarini

Close Landscape Architecture

Industry Resource

Greg Stokes

Commercial Aquatic Engineering


St. Paul Parks and Recreation

St. Paul Parks and Recreation


Four fountains with four large bronze bird sculptures located in Upper Landing Park on the Mississippi River in Saint Paul.


The theme of the design centered around navigation and the river. In addition to being a working river for barges it is also the primary navigation route for North American birds.


Working with Close Landscape Architecture we discovered that the barge traffic on the river uses markers on the banks to time their turns; this became the limestone piers. For the shape of the fountains I threw the original form on the pottery wheel. A section of this form was scanned and sent to the landscape architects who enlarged it to 20 feet in diameter. Then working with Theme Scapes and custom molds the four fountains were cast in a granite aggregate concrete. The fountain engineering was done working with Commercial Aquatic Engineering.

Additional Information

People hug the four large birds. They love them.