Metropolis: city menaced by crime and guarded by a superhero from the planet Krypton or small Midwestern town guarded by a larger-than life superhero statue? Whichever you think, both the fictional comic book locale and the town on the tip of Southern Illinois are guarded by the same super hero: Superman. Known as the “Home of Superman,” Metropolis, Illinois, founded in 1838, is located on the Ohio River, just ten miles from neighboring Kentucky and today devotes itself to the Man of Steel with a Super Museum and a giant Superman statue in Superman Square.
After a movement led by Kentucky native Robert Westerfield and an official decree (Resolution Number 572) from the Illinois House of Representatives, Metropolis, Illinois, officially became the “Hometown of Superman” on June 9, 1972.
In 1973 the Superman Museum was built to honor the hometown (super)hero but sadly closed a year later due to a gas shortage and delays in an interstate that put a damper on tourism. It wasn’t until 1979 when the passion towards celebrating was reborn with the release of the first Superman movie. The town held the Metropolis Superman Celebration, a festival that included reenacting a bank robbery with Superman coming to the rescue. Every year since fans have gathered from around the world each year to celebrate.
Nowadays, the town is home to a museum full of memorabilia and collectables, fun cutouts and photo ops, a Lois Lane sculpture, and more. But, perhaps the most famed icon of the town is the life size Superman statue in “Superman Square.”
The first incarnation of the big Superman Statue was a seven-foot fiberglass version erected in 1986. In 1993, after over $100,000 was raised, a new version of the Metropolis Superman statue replaced the old: a 15-foot bronze Superman monument decked in red cape and giant “S” which watches over Metropolis as only a real super hero could.
I’ve the Superman statue in Metropolis, Illinois several times over the years. Check out photos through the years below! )And, while you’re there, don’t miss the Lois Lane statue down the block!)
Giant Superman Statue in Metropolis, Illinois, 2015:
Metropolis, Illinois Superman statue, 2009:
The second time I visited the giant Superman was on May 2, 2009 on a Chicago to Metropolis road trip.
Big Superman Statue in Metropolis, Illinois, 2007:
July 14, 2007
I first visited Metropolis, Illinois – the Home of Superman – a couple of years ago. Here are some photos of the Superman roadside attraction circa 2007. Not much has changed at all…
Giant Superman Statue in Metropolis, Illinois: Home of Superman
Location: Superman Square, 611 Market St., Metropolis, IL
Cost: Free to see
Hours: Always Visible