EAGLE GROVE - An abandoned grain elevator along the Eagle Grove skyline has been gradually taking on a new look this year.
Now known as the Eagle Grove Community Veterans Tower, the project has been underway for about two years from the time Veterans Tower Board members approached the structure's owners about transforming it into a work of art for the community to enjoy.
"We had this plain, old elevator from the 1940s that's been unused for years," said Daryl Watts, chairman of the Veterans Tower Board. "We thought it would be a good idea to paint it with a mural and some flags as a way to thank our veterans."
This spring, the concrete silo was painted white in preparation for murals and images symbolic of veterans and the Eagle Grove community to be painted on its four sides.
Painting crews from South Dakota assisted with getting the designs started, along with art and design students from Iowa State University who created possible images for the tower.
Presently, the west wall of the tower has been partially painted with a military logo of the Red Bull thanking the Eagle Grove National Guard Unit for their years of service before disbanding this year, a red, white and blue banner with stars that says "In God We Trust" and a sign proclaiming the community as the hometown of Gov. Robert Blue.
A mural will be painted on the south side of the tower that will feature a farming scene and boat with a Norwegian flag while the east side will eventually include a POW/MIA flag and a memorial to Sept. 11, 2001.
"We also want this to celebrate our community's heritage," said Watts.
The group is still fundraising to continue painting on the tower in the future.
"We sold hot dogs outside of Fareway last weekend," said Watts. "And we have had some pretty good individual donations coming in."
"A lot of what gets done depends upon the weather and funds," said Gwen Amonson, the group's treasurer.
It may take a while for the entire project to be completed, but Watts hopes that the new Veterans Tower will become a community landmark.
"Every town seems to have a focal point," said Watts. "We see the tower as becoming a point of interest when it is done."
Donations are still being accepted for the tower and may be sent to P.O. Box 126 Eagle Grove, IA 50533.