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Marcus Daly statue temporarily removed from Montana Tech campus to make way for construction project

Posted at 9:47 AM, Jun 05, 2024

BUTTE — For more than 80 years, Copper King Marcus Daly has stood on a pedestal on the campus of Montana Tech overlooking beautiful Butte, Montana, but he has to take a temporary vacation due to some construction work. And his removal drew quite a crowd of people who appreciated this historic moment.

“This is an iconic event. The statue’s been here for quite some time and I’m glad they’re taking the precautions to take care of our guy," said Montana Tech employee Stacie Breitzman.

Crews with Tri-County Mechanical and Electrical carefully wrapped the 1,200-pound bronze statue and slowly removed it from its pedestal on West Park Street where it was installed in 1941. The crew took great care in the removal.

“I mean, he’s a priceless statue and we weren’t sure exactly what was going to occur when we hooked on to him,” said Brian Seymour of Tri-County Mechanical and Electrical.

The process went smoothly as they gently laid the statue on a trailer bed and transported him to temporary storage on the campus. It was decided to remove the statue as a precaution while new heating lines are being installed in tunnels beneath the campus near the pedestal.

“We don’t know exactly what’s under him. If it started failing once we’re digging, how do you protect him once he tips?” said Seymour.

The statue of Marcus Daly was first erected on North Main Street in 1907 near the federal courthouse. It had become a traffic hazard there and was moved to the Tech campus in 1941 and has become a landmark at the university.

“It just lets you know where you’re at, you know, why they built the school and what we’re all about here at Tech,” said Breitzman.

The statue will be returned to the pedestal in August once the project is completed.