According to Forecast Public Art, Return Journey “started out as a community-initiated project to help a neighborhood keep a cherished icon and turn it into a landmark.” Residents had fond memories of the rocket at Brackett Park in South Minneapolis, and when the city declared the structure unsafe and announced that it would be torn down they rallied to “Save Our Rocket!”, forming a group called the Rocket Boosters to advocate and raise funds for preservation.
Artist Randy Walker designed the 25- foot tall structure, anchored in its climb by 84 steel cables forming two ellipses in a rock garden, and intentionally kept the rocket in aged condition, including the vintage graffiti on its platforms. “The cables are intended to simultaneously show movement through space and anchorage to the earth. The structure is a vehicle of imagination and memory.”
What a great way to save a community play icon! Kudos to the community organizers who made it possible, and the Rocket Care Club volunteers who continue to maintain the site.