“celebrating George Lucas”
The Lucas Plaza Statue located at the intersections of Downey, 17th, McHenry and J Streets (five points), features two teenagers from the early 60’s leaning against the fender of a ’57 Chevy. This bronze statue is a tribute to Modesto’s most favorite son, director/producer George Lucas When Modesto finally decided to honor George Lucas, controversy brewed around the fact that so many people were against city funds being used to build anything to honor anyone. Money was quietly raised, the city provided a space at Five Points (the intersections of McHenry Avenue, "J" Street, 17th Street, Downey and Needham). This particular location is probably the most ideal place, since it is the symbolic separation of the old downtown from the roadway into what was once the farmland surrounding the town - in Lucas's time, cruising was a downtown activity, only later did it become a McHenry Avenue rite. A statue was commissioned and work started on the triangular piece of property (strangely the pie shaped space resembles a Star Destroyer from "Star Wars"). What better way to celebrate George Lucas than to represent a moment in time from "American Graffiti?" The statue represents a teenage boy and girl sitting on a 1957 Chevy, no doubt getting ready to "cruise" 10th and 11th Streets. There is an inscription on a bench in back of the statue commemorating Lucas and his achievements.The photos above are courtesy of Kevin Shand, former Modesto Film Commissioner.
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George Lucas Plaza Statue
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