Well-known in San Antonio for his "Trail Drivers" sculpture on permanent display inside the Witte Museum, Danish-American artist Gutzon Borglum (1867-1941) made several proposals to the City of Corpus Christi in the early twentieth century for the beautification of the bayfront. In 1928, he arrived in the area at the request of the city's chamber of commerce in order to plan for the incorporation of practical and visual improvements to the beach front.Marker is property of The State of Texas
Eager to begin this project, Borglum generously offered his services at no cost to the city. He designed a promenade that would incorporate a system of parks and boulevards in addition to an improved seawall. Impressed at learning that Corpus Christi was the only city in the United States to bear that name, he sought to include a 32-foot-high Christ statue. Anchored in the seawall itself, the sculpture would appear to be walking on water with its hands upraised as though protecting the city from inclement weather.
In preparation for carrying out his proposals for Corpus Christi, Borglum toured Gulf Coast cities in order to identify other effective examples of harbor improvement. In the spring of 1928, city property holders approved part of his plan, but a subsequent bond election for the entire proposal was cancelled. A further attempt by the sculptor
to secure New Deal funds for the bayfront was unsuccessful. Ultimately, his plans for sculpting four of the nation's foremost presidents onto Mount Rushmore redirected Borglum's attention away from Corpus Christi and its needed seawall.