New mosaic benches surround Women’s Suffrage sculpture at Rockford YMCA


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – A Forest City monument, designed to commemorate 100 years of women’s suffrage, is officially complete.

“It really has historical meaning, it has meaning for the city, it has meaning for women in general,” said artist Susan Burton.

Six benches were unveiled Saturday afternoon, surrounding the mosaic sculpture which sits outside the Riverfront YMCA’s Log Lodge.

“I think it could be used as a staunch educational piece, where people can not only see history, they can touch history,” Burton said.

Some of the benches celebrate famous Stateline women. Others depict popular community attractions, like Beyer Stadium and the Coronado Performing Arts Center. Also included is text from the 19th amendment, the legislation which officially granted women the right to vote back in 1920.

Elaine Hirschenberger is the director of WomanSpace, the group behind the benches. She says they wanted to honor all of the people and places that have contributed to the advancement of women’s rights here locally.

“Having women be able to break through those glass ceilings and have the ability to be impactful citizens, that is really what we are hoping for and working for,” Hirschenberger said. “The fact that we did it with mosaic is important. The whole concept of that is to take small pieces, like all of us are small pieces of the community. But when we come together, we create an image and a presence that is truly a powerful symbol.”

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