Haddy – A Haddonfield Icon

by Press Release--Suasion Communications Group | Dec 26, 2013
Haddy – A Haddonfield Icon Visitors unfamiliar with Downtown Haddonfield may find it odd to see an eight-foot high statue of a Hadrosaurus Foulkii dinosaur in the middle of the shopping district – but actually “Haddy”, as the icon is affectionately known, is very much right where she belongs.

The statue was erected to commemorate the 1858 discovery of the world's first dinosaur skeleton near the very spot where it was unearthed. This was the first nearly complete dinosaur skeleton ever found and the first to be mounted for public display. Haddy was recently named ‘Best of South Jersey’ in USA Today’s ‘Best of Philadelphia’ for Hidden Gems, although Haddy has cast a watchful eye across Kings Highway for eight years.

“Haddy is much loved in Downtown Haddonfield by our residents business owners and visitors alike. Rarely a day goes by when I don’t see someone taking photos with her – she serves us well as a tourist attraction and an icon for the town of Haddonfield,” said Arlene Fiorilli, Director of the Haddonfield Information Center.

The idea for Haddy was first introduced in 2002 when the Garden Club of Haddonfield formed a committee known as H.A.T.C.H. (Haddonfield Acts To Create Hadrosaurus) to explore the creation of a statue to commemorate the historic dinosaur skeleton discovery more than two and a half centuries ago.

Renowned sculptor John Giannotti, a Haddonfield resident, was selected to create Haddy. He has created some of the most iconic artworks in the region and has completed many sculptures around the world. Funding for the project came from individuals and local companies. No taxpayer funds were used to create the sculpture or the surrounding landscaping.

Although fundraising was successful, it only provided about 50 percent of the necessary funds for a bronze sculpture of this size, approximately eight feet in height and 16 feet in length, which would typically be in excess of $100,000. Giannotti, passionate about the project, advised that he would donate his services for the 10 months it would take to complete the sculpture. In addition, more than two dozen local residents came to his studio to help pack the clay on the sculpture -- and the clay itself was donated by local businessman, Jack North, owner of Chavant Clay.

Giannotti worked on the project in his studio/barn behind his home on West End Avenue in Haddonfield. During the six months needed to create the full size clay model, John wanted to involve the community, so he invited school groups from the area to witness the sculpture in progress. More than 600 children visited his studio during this six-month period. Each child who visited was given a small lump of clay and was asked to attach the clay to the armature to claim his or her “spot” on Haddy.

“It became a true community project,” Giannotti recalls. “I still hear about these children, now nearly grown, who come to visit the sculpture and point to the spot where they put their piece of clay,” he added.

The unveiling of the sculpture took place in October of 2003. More than 1,000 people crowded Kings Highway on that day, to witness Haddy’s unveiling.

“I have completed many public sculptures in a number of countries around the world, but the sculpture of Haddy stands out in my mind as the one that truly has become part of its community as a landmark,” said Giannotti. “To me, that’s so meaningful; to have made a personal impact through my art,” he added.

Check out this website for more information: hadrosaurus.com

12/25/13

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Author: Press Release--Suasion Communications Group

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