Family rebuilds Stevens Point landmark - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Family rebuilds Stevens Point landmark

JUNCTION CITY (WAOW)—The iconic weather vane of the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point's Old Main building is gone. 

But soon to be in its place is a new model being constructed by Boleslaw Kochanowski and his four sons. 

"Old Main is a landmark in Stevens Point" Kochanowski told Newsline 9. 

The family was commissioned by the college to replace the previous 9-foot-tall weather vane that had stood for over one hundred years.  Though more than a century separates the construction of the two features, the way they're being made is the same.

"We're holding to the original very much, we're making some technological improvements.  We're using thicker materials, we're going to hot-bath galvanize it in Milwaukee, [and] we're putting stainless steel in the shaft in the middle" Kochanowski said.

Foraging is a trade that has been passed down through the Kochanowski family for four generations.  And this project will exemplify that tradition as a focal point of the community. 

"Passing this on to my sons means a lot to me" Kochanowski said, "my father instilled in me a ‘do-it-well, make-it-right", and that attitude, it's in all we do." 

The work of this family of blacksmiths can be seen all over the country.  But most of their work is custom-built for members of the Central Wisconsin community. 

Over a lifetime's worth of work, Kochanowski credits his favorite creation as a "Tango" a piece commissioned by Melba Sullivan of Stevens Point.  The piece entwines the likeness of a Sandhill Crane and Heron using iron, shadows, and negative spaces.   

The artwork was featured at the 2011 Birds In Art exhibition at Wausau's Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. 

The new weather vane will be hoisted to the top of Old Main on the campus of the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point at a dedication ceremony on Dec. 3.

Online Reporter Rob Duns (WAOW)   

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