Those who love the iconic bird located outside of the Yard Birds shopping center will be pleased to know the bird’s restoration is in the final stages.
After raising $10,000 for the project, Yard Birds manager Jason Mattson said the work that began about a month and a half ago will be completed in the first part of September.
This was just one of the recent restorations that has taken place. The last time the bird had to be restored in 2013, it cost approximately $35,000, and included an 85 percent rebuild of the structure.
This time the repairs are not as extensive. Mattson said the plywood had to be replaced after the coating failed. The coating material was donated by a company outside Vancouver, Wash., and was predicted to last 20 years. To Mattson’s disappointment, the coating didn’t even last a year as it proved to not be waterproof, leading to the damage and warping of the wooden shell of the structure.
Half of the money raised for the current repairs was donated by the owner of Yard Birds Shopping Mall, Darris McDaniel, while the rest was raised through donations and events, including the Miss Yard Bird Pageant and Burlesque for the Bird.
For five years, Evening Magazine has named Yard Birds the best roadside attraction in the Northwest.
“It feels really good,” Mattson said of the work being done. “It’s a weight off my shoulders.”
The bird isn’t the original one that was located at the front of the shopping mall, formerly used as a helicopter hangar. Greeting customers was a much larger and more elaborate bird standing 60 feet tall.
“It was as tall as this one is long, if you could imagine it, and you could drive between its legs,” Mattson said. “It was crazy. It was really ugly and it was awesome.”
The bird burned after a vehicle backfired and lit the structure, destroying it in 12 minutes.
Mattson said he hopes this restoration will last for several decades.
“It lasted 40 years before, so I’d be happy with another 40 years,” he said.