Memorial Building Exterior

The exterior sculpture was created by John David Brcin (far left) a young Chicago sculptor of Serbian birth. Hartley Burr Alexander (near left), an eminent authority on Indian anthropology, wrote the inscriptions for the building.

The architects firmly placed the building in the Great Plains by utilizing Indian themes, most notably the abstracted thunderbird, or eagle, symbol found on the capitals of the east entrance columns and throughout the interior. The exterior carvings on the east half of the building refer to the White settlement of the area and on the west to the Native American civilization. This east facade was specifically dedicated to George Joslyn and carries the memorial identification, the dedicatory inscription, and the sculptural panels most closely tied with his journalistic career. The figures on the bronze entrance doors symbolically represent his virtues: the south pair illustrate Labor and Charity, the center pair Faith and Valor, and the north pair Vision and Hope.

The rosettes, or medallions, above the south, west, and north entrance doors, are grouped to create pairs of figures who settled the Great Plains: Red Man of the Plains and Red Woman of the Plains, The Prospector and Tiller of the Soil, and the Spanish Conquistador and the Christian Scout.

The sculptural panels on the corners of the building are Pioneer Press, Distribution of the News, and Civic Builders, all referring to George Joslyn's career and his part in bringing newspapers to the West; The Homesteaders, portraying the meeting of established farmers and the recently arrived settlers; and Indian Sign Language, Indian Signal Fire, Indian Picture Writing, and Indian Prayer for Life, all dealing with the Indian heritage of this region.