The Birth of the NFL - CODAworx

The Birth of the NFL

Client: Pro Football Hall of Fame and ArtsinStark

Location: Canton , OH, United States

Completion date: 2008

Project Team


Michael Clapper

Project Manager

John Grant

Public Art Services


Artist Michael Clapper created the Birth of the NFL to commemorate the founding of the National Football League. In 1920 the League was formed inside a Hupmobile dealership in Canton, Ohio that was owned by Canton Bulldogs owner Ralph Hayes. This project represents that event by using a spheroid form as a metaphor for a seed pod, and the NFL letter composition as the nucleus within. The stainless steel spheroid and glass letter composition are perched atop an 11’ tall pedestal of pre-rusted steel I-beams. Located outside the Bow Building in Canton, Ohio, this work measures 23’ x 11’ x 8’.


The base of the sculpture, an 11' tall pedestal of pre-rusted steel I-beams, is meant to honor the steel industry of Canton. This work of public art also displays the names of the 10 original teams of the league.


Public Art Services provided the following services: Design coordination, Materials research, Budget management, Engineering coordination and oversight, Fabricator bid process, Fabrication oversight, Lighting design development, Shipping, Installation services, Scheduling, Project close-out.