Prinster bros. statue unveiling set for Oct. 18 at Main & Spruce streets in Grand Junction
WHAT: Legends Sculpture Project unveiling
WHEN: 5 p.m. Fri., Oct. 18
WHERE: Southwest corner of Main & Spruce streets in GJ
COST: Free, open to the public
City Market — it’s a household name in Mesa County and the destination of choice for many local families stocking up on groceries. What you may not know is that City Market got its start right here in Grand Junction in 1924.
And to commemorate the four Prinster brothers, who built City Market’s grocery empire, a statue will be unveiled 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18.
According to Legends Sculpture Project Committee Co-Chair Jacquie Chappell-Reid, the new sculpture will be located at the southwest corner of West Main and Spruce streets. It was designed by sculptor James Haire.
“It’s where you turn into what is now the Mesa County Services building,” Chappell-Reid said. “That was the original corporate warehouse for City Market.”
The brothers, one by one, opened stores in Grand Junction, she added, and from the beginning “they were very involved in the community and great corporate citizens.
“Their father said ‘If you boys will stick together and go into business, you’ll do well,’ and between them they built a whole City Market empire in four states and (more than) 35 stores. A lot of people don’t know that, but they totally changed the way groceries were distributed in western Colorado. They started the supermarket concept.”
The Prinster brothers statue is part of a whole slew of sculptures placed around Grand Junction depicting important people to the area.
“There are so many people who have contributed to stories of this community,” Chappell-Reid noted. “The stories just get lost and people don’t remember them unless they happen to be a real history buff.”
So, starting in 2007, the all-volunteer group — called Legends of the Grand Valley — began installing art pieces. The first depicted famed screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Other statues placed around town include Walter Walker, William Moyer, Sister Mary Balbina Farrell, John Otto and the Operation Foresight founders.
The 2014 statue will be announced at Friday’s unveiling, Chappell-Reid said.
A reception and book signing for “The History of City Market: The Brothers Four and the Back Slope Empire,” co-authored by Tony Prinster and Kate Ruland Thorne, will follow the unveiling of the statue.
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