Local artist DeAna Morrison, owner of the Amused Gallery in the North Topeka Art District, has been repairing the buffalo sculpture located in Cushinberry Park, nicknamed “Old Buff,” in the hopes of fully restoring it this year. So far, Morrison has replaced 20-30% of the sculpture which had been damaged from fires, termites and other forms of vandalism. Morrison will be adding mural paint to the sculpture to help restore it to its original color and, weather permitting, announce that it has been completed by early next week.
The park where Old Buff is situated is also seeing further improvements with new walking paths, a new basketball court, new swings, drinking fountains, landscaping and a new park sign.
Cushinberry Park can be found on SE 15th St. near Downtown Topeka. The park is named after Grant Cushinberry, a WWII combat medic and well-known philanthropist who established God’s Little 1/2-acre, a garden and donations clearinghouse to serve the poor. For three decades, Cushinberry ran Topeka’s Community Thanksgiving Dinner. He was also took underprivileged children to fairs, ball games and circuses. He was known for his ability to reach across racial lines.