Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa's 'Exploding Chicken' gets new roost

TAMPA — Tampa's favorite chicken soon will be exploding once again.

The sculpture colloquially known as the Exploding Chicken — officially, it doesn't have a title — is being reassembled this week in the center of the roundabout north of the Florida Aquarium.

NationsBank, now Bank of America, commissioned artist George Sugarman to create the black, white and yellow sculpture in 1985. It sat near Kennedy Boulevard and Ashley Drive for about 25 years before the new owners of Rivergate Tower (itself better known as the Beer Can Building) donated it to the city.

Costs to move the sculpture had been estimated at up to $150,000 — something City Hall couldn't afford — so Tampa economic opportunity administrator Bob McDonaugh rounded up businesses to cover nearly all of the costs of taking it apart, storing it and moving it to its new home.

"It was kind of a local icon, it was going to get scrapped, (and) I thought it was worth saving," McDonaugh said Monday.

The only costs to the city have been building the foundation and hiring a big crane to help lift the parts into place this week.

"The people who are out there right now are volunteering their time," McDonaugh said.

The steel-and-aluminum sculpture is 36 feet tall. Once installed, officials say, it will be repainted its original colors.

Tampa's 'Exploding Chicken' gets new roost 04/01/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 4:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Girl says her mom asked for forgiveness before stabbing her


    ATLANTA — Everyone was asleep when Isabel Martinez began stabbing her children and then fatally stabbed her husband as he tried seek help, her daughter told a child welfare caseworker.

    In a  July 7 file photo, Isabel Martinez gestures towards news cameras during her first court appearance, in Lawrenceville , Ga. Martinez is charged with killing four of her children and their father. [AP Photo/John Bazemore, File]
  2. McCain says 'I'll be back soon' as he battles brain cancer


    WASHINGTON — Battling brain cancer, Sen. John McCain on Thursday promised to return to work, making a good-natured dig at his Republican and Democratic colleagues who were jolted by news of the six-term lawmaker's diagnosis.

    Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed with a brain tumor after a blood clot was removed. [Associated Press]
  3. Fire on neighbor's porch leads to charges against Holiday man


    HOLIDAY — A Holiday man was arrested Wednesday after authorities say he torched the front porch of his neighbor, who he insisted was holding his daughter hostage.

    Dan Fry, 63, of Holiday was arrested Wednesday on a charge of first-degree arson. [Photo courtesy of Pasco Sheriff's Office]
  4. Port Richey man solicited sex from 13-year-old, Pasco authorities say


    PORT RICHEY — A Port Richey man was arrested Wednesday after Pasco County authorities say he solicited sex from a 13-year-old boy on the gay male dating app Grindr.

    Shawn Daly, 43, of Port Richey was charged with solicitation for sexual conduct with a child over a computer. [Photo courtesy of Pasco Sheriff's Office]