The Hereford Bull
Owner: Kansas City Parks & Recreation Department
Artist: Paul Decker
Dates: Installed at original location October 18, 1954; Relocated to current location 2002
Medium: Fiberglass and polyester resin over steel frame
AKA Bull on Building, Bob
One of the more unusual sculptures in Kansas City is this 5,500 pound fiberglass replica of a Hereford bull that resides on the north end of Mulkey Square Park. From nose to tail, it measures 19 feet 7 inches and is four feet wide between the tips of its horns.
In October 1953, the American Hereford Association dedicated a new national headquarters, with President Dwight Eisenhower in attendance, at 715 Kirk Drive in the Quality Hill area. A bull statue was planned and later created. It was installed on top of a 90-foot tall pylon in October 1954 at the new building.
In 1997, the American Hereford Association moved and HNTB Architects moved into the building. HNTB took down the bull and put him into storage. In 2000, discussions with Kansas City Parks and Recreation began regarding ownership of the bull. Also, several articles started appearing in the Kansas City Star wondering about the fate of the bull. Even former Kansas Citian Calvin Trillin wrote an article about the bull in New Yorker magazine.
In 2002, the American Hereford Association, MC Real Estate Services and Kansas City Parks and Recreation came to an agreement to move the bull to Mulkey Square Park. MC Real Estate Services would construct a new base and pylon and move the bull. MC and the AHA would assist in raising funds for a maintenance endowment while Parks and Recreation assumed ownership and maintenance responsibility. However, the American Hereford Association can reclaim the bull for cause within 20 years.