38 things we love about Illinois: No. 12

The Sun Singer
From venerable agriculture to the computer revolution, rare books to Round Barns, Homecoming parades to tunnel walks, these are a few of our favorite things about our favorite institution of higher education.

12. The Sun Singer

Head helmeted, arms to the sky, he stands in his own clearing at Allerton Park—the Monticello, Ill., estate gifted to UI in 1946. Bronze with oxidized green patina, the Apollo-inspired figure wears well the massive scale given him by Danish sculptor Carle Milles in 1929. Turned out Milles misunderstood the original commission by estate owner Robert Allerton, who had in mind a figure for his garden. Big surprise when the crate containing the 15-foot god arrived from Denmark. But the site Allerton created has made an icon of his Sun Singer, admired by visitors who can arrive by car and circle the sculpture without exiting their vehicles.

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