Golden Driller Statue
Location: Tulsa, OK (4145 E. 21st Street)
When to visit: Anytime during daylight hours
Time needed: 5 minutes
Website www.travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.16498 (unofficial)
The tallest statue in the United States is the Statue of Liberty. Which seems appropriate and sensible. But when you start looking at the rest of the Top 10 tallest statues, you find some very quirky and unusual structures on the list.
Coming in at number four is the “Golden Driller,” a 75-foot-tall landmark in Tulsa, Oklahoma that weighs more than 43,000 pounds. This thing is taller than an oil rig, as you can see by the derrick that looks so tiny next to the statue. It was reportedly built sturdy so that it could withstand the state’s common tornadoes.
The Golden Driller has quite a history. There have been three different drillers over the years, starting with a papier mache version that obviously wasn’t going to last long. The current statue was erected in 1966 and was given significant repairs in 1979 before it would have needed to be bulldozed.
Some folks, including a one-time county commissioner, hate the statue and consider it an eyesore. But at this point it has become a symbol of Tulsa and it gives people a reason to talk about (and blog about) the city.