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Florida Statues (page 2)

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BP Man
Lloyd, FL

2009:

2020:
BP Man is an adapted Johnny Appleseed statue. This statue was created in the early 1990s. It was created by Mark Cline from a mold of the statue in New Market, VA. Originally, this statue was located at a restaurant in Kissimmee, FL. By 2008, it was moved to this truck stop gas station. His apple was transformed into a doughnut and a cup of coffee was added. The upside-down pot on his head was changed into a ball cap. By 2018, the statue was missing his left hand and coffee cup. [map]

Magic Gift Shop
Kissimmee, FL
Magic Castle Gift Kingdom
Kissimmee, FL
The Magic Gift Shop and the Magic Castle Gift Kingdom feature giant wizard entrances. There is also a similar Mermaid Gift Shop in Kissimmee. Most likely, all three of these shops were built sometime after 1971 when Disney World opened in Orlando. [Magic Gift Shop map]; [Magic Castle Gift Kingdom map]

Sports Dominator
(now Whirly Dome)
Orlando, FL
Skull Kingdom [gone]
Orlando, FL
ICONS Exhibit [gone]
Key West, FL
These giant basketball and soccer players stood in front of the Sports Dominator sporting goods store when this photo was taken in 2005. The giant helmeted muscle man was located above the entrance. In 2012, the business became the Whirly Dome, a WhirlyBall facility. Only the basketball player remained and he had been repainted. For more, see this website. [map]

Skull Kingdom was a theme park featuring a Haunted Mansion and magic shows. The place opened in 1997 and closed in 2006. The giant skull functioned as the entrance. The building has been demolished. For more, see this website.

In 2008, J. Seward Johnson's ICONS Exhibit went on display outside the Key West Museum of Art and History. The statues were still there in 2009 when these photos were taken. These two statues were among the 11 life-sized sculptures of everyday people. I believe all of the statues are gone now. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, 3, and 4.

The Kiss
Sarasota, FL
The Kiss statue is officially entitled "Unconditional Surrender". It was inspired by the famous VJ Day photo of a sailor kissing a nurse. That photo was taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt in 1945 and appeared in Life Magazine. The 25-foot-tall statue was created by J. Seward Johnson from a photo taken by Victor Jorgensen. The original statue was styrofoam. It was replaced with an aluminum statue. [map]

Johnson's first version of this statue was built in 2005. It was installed in Times Square in New York City to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. I believe that statue is still put on display in Times Square every year for VJ Day.

Later in 2005, this much larger statue was installed in Sarasota. It was removed in 2006. It was reported that it was moved to San Diego, CA but I think that was a different statue. In 2007, a temporary version of this statue was installed in San Diego. That one was replaced with a permanent version in 2013.

The Sarasota statue returned in 2008. In 2012, a car crashed into the statue. It was repaired and reinstalled later that year.

An identical statue was installed in Hamilton, NJ in 2010. There is another one in San Diego, CA. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Ron Jon Surf Shop
Cocoa Beach, FL
This Ron Jon Surf Shop opened in 1963 and is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. The first Ron Jon shop opened in Long Beach Island, NJ in 1961. This is their second and largest store. Shown above are three of the ten, life-sized sand and resin statues that were created in 1996. For more, see this website. [map]

Devil & Abominable Snowman [gone]
Panama City Beach, FL
Orange Man [gone]
Palm Coast, FL
The Devil and Abominable Snowman were used as entrances to rides at the Miracle Strip Amusement Park which first opened in 1963. The Park closed in 2004 and was demolished in 2009. The figures were created by Val Valentine. The Devil's head was the entry to Dante's Inferno with a Chance Trabant ride, a type of Scrambler. The 20 foot tall Abominable Snowman led to an Eli Bridge Scrambler ride. Both rides ran in the dark with special lighting. For more, see this website.

The Orange Man was originally known as the Orange Bird back when the Artesia Gardens produce and gift shop behind him was open. The Orange Bird had wings and a beak back in the 1980s when he was built. His midsection was a cement-filled buoy. These photos are from 2009. By 2011, the statue had been demolished. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3.

Polo Player
Miami Beach, FL
Casablanca Hotel
Miami Beach, FL
This Polo Player sculpture was created by Ettore Pellagata in 1924. There were three created for Polo Park. This is the only one that has survived. [map]

The Casablanca Hotel, now the New Casablanca on the Ocean Hotel, was designed by Roy France and built in 1949. It features these Arabian Nights-style genie statues supporting a canopy. The hotel design was inspired by the movie "Casablanca". [map]

Sahara Hotel
Sunny Isles Beach, FL
The Sahara Hotel, now the Sahara Beach Club Motel, was designed by Carlos Schoeppl and built in 1953. These camels and Arab statues are original. The Arabs' faces and hands were originally painted black. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

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