A 110-Foot Tall Bronze Horse and Giant Lobsters, But Where’s the Permalac?

Pegasus 09 EKM

A 110-Foot Tall Bronze Horse and Giant Lobsters, But Where’s the Permalac?

Many visitors are amazed at the Pegasus and Dragon, a 110-foot tall bronze horse, displayed in Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, Florida. The dragon is a mere 50 feet in height! 110 tons of steel and 132 tons of bronze went into the construction of this project, initiated in 2012.

While it is quite stunning, we have to ask, where’s the Permalac? I discovered an early photo, when the project was incomplete, and have followed the project through the building process but the story makes my head hurt just a bit. Why would any artist not wish to protect the patina on their work of art, letting it collect ocean salt from the ever-blowing winds off the shore, only a few hundred yards east of the statue?

Permalac Victories

Many artists, builders, and construction project managers know the value of applying Permalac to an indoor or outdoor sculpture, or infrastructure undertaking, and we’re proud to proclaim that it is the favored choice of protecting such projects across the globe. In other articles on our blog, we’ve highlighted the Bull and Bear sculpture at Stifel Financial, even the Fountain of the Muses, all right here in the USA.

The Fountain of the Muses, 15 life-size bronze sculp¬tures in a reflecting pool and fountain, is one of the most visited pieces of art at the Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, S.C. The Muses were showcased in a previous article on our blog, and it appeared in C&R Cleaning & Restoration Magazine in their February 2014, issue. Here is just one of more than 3000 of 5-star reviews of the Murrells Inlet site on TripAdvisor.

“beautiful gardens – amazing sculptures”
Reviewed February 18, 2014

I can only imagine what the gardens look like when everything is blooming. Maybe sometime, we’ll get there in the spring. Even in the winter it was beautiful, and they have some of the most amazing sculptures……. Cheryl H, Durham, North Carolina

Muse Image at night
Image credit: Permalac

Back to Pegasus

There could be numerous reasons why the Pegasus and Dragon sculpture didn’t receive the protection of Permalac, but I surmise it was because of the international firms involved, and that allowed Permalac to slip through the cracks in their process. When you consider that the framing came from Germany, the bronze segments from China, and an America firm provided the project management.

Germany-based company Strassacker handled the project, (and manager Cznay) said amazing work went into the project. It started with an idea from Gulfstream’s owner Frank Stronach. The idea — having a giant Pegasus to represent the track — then went from paper to clay and Styrofoam. Cznay said that when he first heard what Stronach was imagining, he thought it was “impossible,” and “crazy.” But working with a company in China, Strassacker came up with a plan to make the idea a reality.

Chinese engineers used a grid to create the horse and then cast the sculpture out of hundreds of tons of bronze. It was cut into pieces and packed in 26 shipping containers, then placed on a boat for a nearly six-week journey to America. – Excerpt – Miami Herald

Image credit: Miami Herald

As you can see, deposits of ocean salt have accumulated extensively on the bronze. There is also a fountain to be completed within it, and that may be someone’s planned solution to minimize the accumulation. But what of long-term protection? We attempted to contact the project manager Cznay, but were unable to reach him.

“Pegasus is a symbol of strength, elegance and good,” said Michael Stark, chief engineer for the project. “The dragon is a symbol of evil. It’s the fight of good against evil. And as you can see, the good is supposed to be winning. This is the story behind Pegasus and the dragon.” Pegasus, touted by Gulfstream as the largest bronze equine statue in the world, is fast becoming the buzz of the town. – Sun-Sentinel News Media

In a previous article showcasing the renovation of the Statue of Liberty, we noted that this important historical project also did not receive Permalac as part of the renovation. This is also referenced in the Wikipedia page on the piece. It is widely understood that Lady Liberty is the tallest metal sculpture in the USA, with Pegasus and Dragon coming in second. For comparison, there is a taller sculpture in Puerto Rico, The Birth of the New World, by Georgian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli.

There are also other “unusual animal” sculptures in North America. One in Shediac, Canada, the other in the Florida Keys, a gargantuan lobster, as seen in the images below.

giant lobster 1
Images credit: atlasobscura.com
giant lobster 2
Images credit: atlasobscura.com

There are many, many reasons to utilize Permalac on these types of grand art projects, so many that it boggles our minds when artists create such tremendous works, and then allow them to deteriorate due to exposure to the weather.

If you are a sculptor, or merely someone seeking to make your mark with a permanent reminder, make its appearance long-lasting! Consider Permalac your final touch in the preservation of your lobster, horse or dragon, Fountain Muses, the Santa Maria or perhaps a Unicorn for posterity. If you check out the product home page, you’ll see Permalac even helps protect garden gnomes.

Top featured image credit: Miami Herald


Permalac Amplified (Literally)

Permalac was recently used in a Unidyne microphone restoration. The vintage pieces were the ribbed castings with Permalac Indigo finish. Every other part of the microphones were brand-new, including the innermost capsule element. If you’re a microphone enthusiast looking for a protectant against acid spit ruining chrome plating, give Permalac a try!


Permalac Seals the Deal, and That’s No Bull (or Bear)







Markets up, markets down; bear to bull, bull to bear.  Bronze effigies of these two majestic creatures have been used to represent the ever-changing balancing act of the stock market for hundreds of years.

Mention the stock market soaring, and an image of the bull comes to mind.  Markets down conjure up the bear in your mind’s eye.  Bronze likenesses of the bear and the bull are ubiquitous for anyone the least interested in the daily financial markets in New York, Chicago and St. Louis.

St. Louis you say?  While there is no stock exchange, the folks at Stifel Financial Corp. felt it necessary to commission one of America’s greatest giant sculpture masters, Mr. Harry Weber.

According to a blog article in the Wall Street Journal:

While St. Louis might not have famous pizza or an actual stock exchange, it does have barbecue and soon will have its own Wall Street bull. It’s even one-upping Wall Street by adding a measured force: a bear……..

The St. Louis based investment bank is in the process of closing a deal to acquire KBW Inc., a Manhattan-based investment bank to the banks and one of the firms most associated with the World Trade Center.

Stifel CEO Ronald Kruszewski says the growth in his city and his bank echo each other, but both stories remain underplayed because of New York’s dominance in banking. Stifel’s gone from 1,200 employees to 5,500.

“We have been growing like a weed,” Kruszewski says.

“I think if you would say the city is the second to New York, the idea to put some art on the ground … is appropriate,” Kruszewski said. “It isn’t like putting a bull and bear in an oil town.”

Why Permalac

I had a chance to speak with Harry Weber by telephone in preparation for the writing of this article, and quickly understood why he receives the huge amount of respect and recognition he deserves.  When I asked him about some of his projects, we spoke at some length of the Louis and Clark monument in the Mississippi River (yes, sometimes completely underwater), known as The Captain’s Return.  The placement of the monument commemorates the 200th anniversary of the return from Louis and Clark’s 2-year exploration of the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase.

“We use Permalac as a finish coat to protect our monuments from the ravages of weather and conditions particular to the site,” said Mr. Weber.  “In the case of The Captain’s Return, because the site is nearly exactly the spot where they landed, occasionally the sculpture gets completely submerged underwater.  Most of the time a portion of the piece is submerged constantly, so it is imperative it be protected from the harsh realities of nature. Permalac not only protects it better than other lacquers, it won’t discolor the patina of the piece,” he added.

“As for the commissioning of the Stifel piece, it took numerous sketches and drawings to come up with the right image. On Wall Street, the Bull signifies the upward mobility of the market. There is no bear.   In this case, the balance of the markets is in constant contest, with upswings and downturns.  Rather than a decisive winner of battle to decide a victor, the bear and the bull needed to reflect that constant struggle of the winners and losers in the marketplace.”

I also learned that over the course of his career, Mr. Weber has crafted more than 100 large sculptures, and an innumerable amount of smaller works. Although not all of his works possess the signature lacquer’s protection,  Perlamac is a big part of his finishing touch.

In this 20-minute video, Harry Weber chronicles the entire project. As you might imagine, the design and construction process of a 9000-pound sculpture is amazing to watch. The video is quite illustrative and informative (The Bull & Bear:  https://youtu.be/0GFEhG03JY4).

The originally published WSJ article: http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2012/12/14/st-louis-to-get-its-own-bull-and-bear-statue/

Image Credit: Stifel Financial Corp.

Captain’s Return by Harry Weber and the use of Permalac  https://vimeo.com/85102911