'maid in mounds view
She is so impressive of stature, so noticeable, so literally statuesque and, frankly, topless, that she is certainly deserving to be listed on the Minnesota Historical Society's webpage of classic roadside advertising giants, along with the ear of corn that towers above Rochester and the big polar bear outside its car dealership in White Bear Lake. -eric hanson
i have a weakness for enormous sculptures, especially the less pretentious enormous sculptures used to sell cars or vegetables. that polar bear mentioned above? i've heard that kids have been shooting arrows into it since i was a lad. you just can't do that with modern signage.
for the past 12 years or so, i've passed this striking mermaid along highway 10 in mounds view. she towers over a restaurant/bowling alley/banquet hall/hotel complex known, appropriately enough, as the mermaid. she was always a mystery to me, but eric hanson's fine piece in the strib taught me a bit more about her. the mermaid has apparently gazed down benevolently from atop the restaurant since 1972, weathering fashion trends and frequent remodeling projects, and rising above the tumultuous waters of good taste and evolving gender role attitudes. though the facility does a fine job with high school banquets, i'm guessing that i'd have a tough time convincing my colleagues to attend a faculty retreat or happy hour at the 'maid.
many unanswered questions remain, of course, including why she adopts the same pose as ed hochuli signaling touchdown. also, why would someone place a topless mermaid on the roof of their restaurant in the first place? did she simply emerge one day from the nearby mississippi river?
the article sez the owners rescued her from advertising statue purgatory when the bar needed a bit of adornment: she was originally "meant to beckon visitors to a trout pond business that never materialized" down the road. that's perfect. long may she reign.