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Long-time Polk City resident donates historical pieces to city

Bob Miller, left, presented his 1970 watercolor painting of the City Hall cupola and a framed Tri-County Times article about the town square renovations to the city of Polk City during the Nov. 29 City Council meeting. Pictured accepting the historical pieces is Mayor Gary Heuertz, center. Matt Bednar, right, served on the committee, along with Miller, that restored the town square back in the 1980s. The painting and old article are currently on display at Polk City’s City Hall. Photo by Rich Taylor
Bob Miller, left, presented his 1970 watercolor painting of the City Hall cupola and a framed Tri-County Times article about the town square renovations to the city of Polk City during the Nov. 29 City Council meeting. Pictured accepting the historical pieces is Mayor Gary Heuertz, center. Matt Bednar, right, served on the committee, along with Miller, that restored the town square back in the 1980s. The painting and old article are currently on display at Polk City’s City Hall. Photo by Rich Taylor

Two historical pieces that capture periods of time in Polk City’s past were presented to the city during the Nov. 29 council meeting.

Bob Miller, a long-time resident of the community and 1966 graduate of North Polk, presented a watercolor painting he completed in 1970 of the cupola that sat on top of City Hall. He also presented a framed copy of a Tri-County Times article from March 6, 1986, about the renovations done to the town’s square. He decided to donate the two pieces so the town can remember how things once appeared and so the community can enjoy them.

Mayor Gary Heuertz said it is nice to have two pieces that “capture a period of time” in Polk City’s history.

“We’re just happy that Bob thought to give them to the city so community members can view them,” Heuertz said.

Miller completed the painting of the cupola as part of an assignment he was given while taking art classes at Drake University. He said he chose the cupola because it was “an interesting piece of architecture to paint.” The painting has been reproduced in publications put out by the Polk City Art Council, which Miller belongs to. He wanted to have the painting on display somewhere in the city, rather than just in his home, where only family members or visitors can see it.

“This way it will hopefully get more exposure in the community,” Miller said of the painting.

The Times article talks about the joint effort between members of the Polk City Business Association, the Polk City Park Commission and the city to renovate the deteriorating town square back in the 1980s. Miller was a member of the business association at the time. Heuertz said prior to the start of the restoration process, there was a chain-link fence around the square and the bandstand/gazebo was “quite dilapidated” and on the verge of falling down. Committee members were able to raise $40,000 to fund the renovations, which included some funding from the city.

“It’s an important piece of Polk City history,” Miller said of the article. “It was a communitywide effort that deserves to be on display.”

Both the painting and the old article are currently on display at City Hall, 112 Third St. Heuertz said they will remain there for approximately one year, until they are relocated to the town’s museum.

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