In the late seventies, Rockford city leaders sought a symbolic icon to bridge the economic and cultural division between east and west Rockford. State funding provided financial grants to ensure Rockford's downtown remained the city's center for arts and creative endeavors. The city hired Alexander Liberman to design and build a sculpture that would sustain Rockford's downtown.
The sculpture was placed at the corner of State St. and Wyman St. in 1978. Six years later, Symbol was disassembled and moved to Sinnissippi Park. Since 1984, Symbol has been placed along the river, north of downtown Rockford.
The Symbol stands forty-seven feet tall with a weight of thirty tons. Its bright red color makes the symbol impossible to miss. Its abstract style adds mystery to its soft design and large scale. Top-heavy yet balanced, Symbol was designed with many loose ends in its structure. Symbol is distracting from a distance yet overwhelming up-close.