Ray Ackerman

Ray Ackerman

This statue of Ray Ackerman is located north of the Chesapeake Boathouse and south of the ticket kiosk in the Regatta Park Plaza in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Willis Granite is proud to have been chosen to provide the statue base for this project. The artist for the statue was Jack Nortz and MTM Recognition produced the statue. The following is an excerpt from the resolution from an Oklahoma City Council meeting on December 20, 2011, to allow this statue to be placed in Regatta Park. This resolution details the contributions that Ray Ackerman made to the projects along the Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Ray Ackerman will be remembered best as "Old Man River," a tireless champion of Oklahoma City’s efforts to reclaim its long-neglected urban riverfront. After formal adoption of the City’s first riverfront master plan in 1981, Ray Ackerman used his influence as a civic and business leader to rally support for transforming the blighted North Canadian River corridor into a vibrant waterfront that would unify, and not divide, the north and south sections of the city. In the mid-1980s, Ray Ackerman pressed the Oklahoma City Riverfront Redevelopment Authority to conduct additional engineering studies to prove the feasibility of impounding water in the river. As chairman-elect of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce in 1990, Mr. Ackerman successfully campaigned to include river improvements and a canal to connect it to Bricktown in the Chamber’s “Visions of a New Frontier” proposal recommending the development of new, quality of life public facilities. And, when Oklahoma City voters approved the Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS) initiative , which included river improvements and the Bricktown Canal, in December 1993, under the leadership of Mayor Ronald J. Norick, the City’s longstanding vision to once again make the river a community gathering place began to take shape. In 1999, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce adopted a proclamation conferring on Ray Ackerman the honorary title “Old Man River”, recognizing his longstanding promotion of riverfront improvement. In 2000, as a trustee of Oklahoma City University, he encouraged the school to adopt rowing as a club sport, ultimately declared a varsity sport in 2004, and the school hosted the first Head of the Oklahoma Regatta that same year. And after nearly a dozen years of campaigning, Ray Ackerman’s efforts to convince the Oklahoma State Legislature to rename the redeveloped section of the North Canadian River finally paid off when, in April 2004, Governor Brad Henry signed a bill formally designating the waterway the Oklahoma River. Thank you, Old Man River

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725 S Lincoln Blvd

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OKC

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73129

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