Efforts to erect a statue of renowned Frederick fashion designer Claire McCardell on city land has moved another step forward with a blessing from the mayor.
According to a news release from the Frederick Art Club — the group spearheading the project — Mayor Michael O’Connor has “given the go-ahead” to build a 7½-foot bronze statue of McCardell on a site along Carroll Creek Linear Park.
O’Connor said Friday that the project still needs to move through the proper legislative channels before groundbreaking, but that he has basically given art club members dibs on the space they want.
“I don’t think I have the authority to say, you get that space, but if someone else wants it, we can say we know this is the one [the art club] wants and tell them we are holding it until it moves through the process,” O’Connor said.
The project has received approval from the city’s Public Art and Parks and Recreation commissions and will move next to the Board of Aldermen for final approval.
Art club members have launched a $209,000 fundraising campaign, with plans to unveil the completed statue in 2020 or 2021. The release said O’Connor has promised to hold the site for installation of the statue until that time.
McCardell, who grew up in Frederick and lived from 1905 to 1958, is credited with several major fashion innovations, including inventing ballet flats, sewing pockets in dresses, popularizing fabrics such as jersey and cotton, and inventing the Monastic dress. If all goes as planned, she will be one of the only women ever memorized in bronze in the city.
According to the release, the desired site for the statue overlooks the creek, with McCutcheon’s Apple Products to the south, the restored Union Knitting Mills building across the creek to the north, and the Galleria Fountain to the west.