More than 10 years after the death of its namesake, the Sherry Corbett Memorial Sculpture has been placed in the B Street park in honor of Corbett’s commitment to restoration efforts in Hamilton.
The sculpture features one of Corbett’s own ideas — a high-wheeled bicycle with a dog in tow that functions as a wind vane set in motion to appear as if its “rider” is pedaling, according to Bob Sherwin, Corbett’s business partner and friend, who spearheaded the memorial effort.
Corbett, a Miami University professor, founded the Dayton Lane Historic District and for more than two decades led the the restoration of 17 neglected properties into significant historic landmark residential properties, according to Mike Dingeldien, president of City of Sculpture Inc. She was an Ohio delegate to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, led the effort to save the Mercantile Lofts building from demolition and was named Hamilton Citizen of the Year in 1994.
The sculpture, created at Magaws of Boston in Indiana, was funded by donations and has been finished for several years but hit a snag for installation. City of Sculpture Inc. and The Dayton Lane Historic Area Inc. joined forces this year and competed the installation.
Sherwin, a resident of the Dayton Lane District, said in recent years Campbell Avenue has gone through some “rough times” and he had concerns about putting the sculpture in that area. Several locations were considered before the “perfect spot” was found among a flower bed and at the gateway of ongoing restoration in Hamilton.
“She would be so happy,” Sherwin said. He noted the sculpture features the high-wheel bike because it is the symbol of the Dayton Lane District, and the nod to Corbett is the flowers in the basket.
“She always had a Coke can filled with flowers in the basket of her bike,” Sherwin said.
Corbett was 55 when she was fatally shot in front of witnesses near her parked car at North 10th Street and Campbell Avenue shortly after 2 p.m. July 27, 2002, just blocks from her Dayton Street home.
Tonda Ansley, Corbett’s tenant and employee, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in Corbett’s death and has been undergoing treatment for years.