Allow me to introduce you to the stories behind many of our attractions and historic areas here in Irving, Texas. This week we'll look at one of Irving's most recognizable icons - the Mustangs of Las Colinas. After the story, you can have fun with the Mustangs of Las Colinas Word Find and Mustang Coloring Page. Simply click on the images below to print it out. Now let's get started!
There are so many talented artists all over the world. One of these artists is named Robert Glen and he was born in Kenya. Kenya is a country in the continent of Africa and is known for its remarkable diversity of landscapes, animals and cultures. While growing up in the wide open spaces of the Kenyan savanna, Robert developed a fascination with birds and all living things. This fascination led him to the Nairobi Museum of Natural History. It was here at the museum where he met the curator of ornithology John Williams and quickly established a long and enduring friendship that greatly influenced his life's work.
At the age of 14, Robert served as an expedition assistant to Mr. Williams, collecting research specimens of birds for European museums. Later, Robert moved to Denver, Colorado and worked in a taxidermy studio. These experiences helped him to start a hobby of sculpting animals once he returned to his home in Kenya. Robert became a famous sculptor and people all over the world began collecting his work - even the Queen of England.
Meanwhile, back here in Irving, a businessman by the name of Ben H. Carpenter decided to turn his family ranch into a world-class residential and business development called “Las Colinas.” Ben wanted people to remember the history of this area where cowboys and wild horses once roamed. So he decided a statue would be something that people all over could visit and remember how this area of Texas used to be. But it wouldn't be any little statue. It would be a BIG statue. And it wouldn't be just one animal, it would include several wild mustangs. And the mustangs would need to look like they did when they roamed wild.
In 1976, Ben asked Robert for some ideas on this big statue he wanted. Back at his studio in Kenya, Robert first made some little statues to see what they would look like. Then he made bigger statues. Then in England, a foundry made life-sized statues made out of bronze. These mustang statues were shipped in a huge jet from England to the DFW Airport, and from the airport they were delivered to the Williams Square building in Las Colinas. The Mustangs of Las Colinas were dedicated on September 25, 1984 and thousands of people have visited them since then. What do you think about when you see the mustangs? Do you think about wide-open spaces and wild animals running where Las Colinas Boulevard is now?
Click here to download the puzzles worksheet for printing. In the first puzzle, fill in the blanks with the missing vowels and then circle the words. In the second puzzle, circle the words below as they appear in the puzzle. Answers will appear in next week's blog.
Answers to last week's puzzle:
Previous activity pages:
- The Story of Irving - Who lived here before the settlers?
- Irving's Train Story - How the railroad ties into the story of Irving
- Land For Sale - The story of the original 'Lot Sale'
- Irving's Clock Tower - Commemorating the Lot Sale
- Irving's Small Towns - All of the small communities that became part of Irving
- Big State Fountain & Grill - One of Irving's downtown attractions and eateries