What is the statue in the back parking lot near Kohl’s?
Photo Jess Quindlen
At the far left end of the Stop & Shop/Kohl’s complex in Copps Hill Plaza, a brownish-gold sculpture sits in a spread of grass, punctuating the parking area. In 1971, construction of Copps Hill Plaza began under the direction of developer Harold Lewis. At the time, fewer shops occupied the plaza, and a park lined Danbury Road, where stores such as Rite Aid, Ridgefield Liquor Shop, and Venice Pizza now stand. The park consisted of trees, benches, and a paved walking path, which all acted as adornment for the park’s centerpiece: the brownish- gold sculpture.
In the middle of the park, developer Lewis had placed this sculpture, created by Philip H. Darling of Long Island. Jack Sanders from The Ridgefield Press reported that developer Lewis’s wife was a good friend of sculptor Darling, and she wished to support the artist by including his work in her husband’s newest project. The bronze, five-foot-high sculpture has been described in many ways, most popularly as “two Martians dancing with an elephant.”
In 2001, renovation took place at Copps Hill—adding the Jersey Mike’s Subs/Rite Aid building and Venice Pizza, and the park disappeared. The new owners of the shopping plaza moved the sculpture to the rear parking lot, to the last remaining patch of grass.
The current property manager, Regency Centers, has no information about the sculpture, its heritage, or its ownership.