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Akron will forever be linked to the Rubber Industry due to the ‘Rubber Capital of the World’ era when four major tire companies were headquartered in the City. These companies grew and prospered on the labor of the thousands of rubber workers that flocked to Akron to better their lives. 

In September of 2019, the City of Akron announced that a statue would be installed in the center of the newly redeveloped Main St. to pay homage to the dedication of Akron's rubber workers who helped build up Akron and the rubber and tire industry.

The City hired Ohio Sculptor Alan Cottrill to create the statue. The piece is inspired by the image on the cover of David Giffels and Steve Love’s Book “Wheels Of Fortune.”

On May 11, 2021 the City installed the statue in the center of the roundabout located at the corner of Main and Mill streets. The statue itself is 12 ft. tall and fully bronzed. It stands on top of a tiered granite base.

The City has created a tribute area for the rubber workers and their families on the Northeast corner nearest to the roundabout, to provide visitors with an opportunity to safely engage with the art. The installation features plaques that describe the unique contributions of women and African Americans to the rubber industry in Akron.

In conjunction with the statue, the City also partnered with Art x Love on the Rubber Worker Stories Project. The campaign, founded by Akron resident Miriam Ray, is an initiative to collect audio/visual stories from Akron’s rubber workers and their descendants. These stories are being transcribed and archived in full in the University of Akron’s Rubber Industry Archives. Excerpts from selected stories have been paired with archival footage for display online and at an interactive kiosk, which is also located in the Northeast corner of the roundabout. To learn more about the Project, please visit www.akronstories.com.

Additionally, this corner features an installation of commemorative bricks. These bricks were purchased by rubber workers, their descendants, other Akron residents, and those who simply wanted to pay homage to the dedication of the rubber workers.

The statue would not be possible without the financial support of local partners including Huntington Bank, FirstEnergy, PNC, Akron Children’s Hospital, GPD Group, and the Office of Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro.

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Mayor Don  Plusquellic

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