New version of ‘Bob the Giraffe’ installed at Lanier Library

Published 11:28 am Thursday, August 3, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

TRYON—On Wednesday, “Bob the Giraffe,” a colorful wooden statue first installed in 2015 on the grounds of Lanier Library, was replaced with a new and improved version.

“Bob the Giraffe had fallen into ill repair, and so Karl Schwartz generously agreed to build a new one,” said the library’s executive director, Jenny Purtill.

Schwartz, a retired computer programmer who teaches woodworking, also handcrafted the original Bob from plywood layers. His design was based on a 14-inch high carving discovered by the late Harry Goodheart, who was the owner of Tryon Fine Books. 

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The original carving was actually a vintage handmade toy created at Tryon Toymakers and Woodcarvers, founded in 1915 by Eleanor Vance and Charlotte Yale. 

Chestnut St. was temporarily closed down to install the new statue. Each of Bob’s four legs is anchored by 50 pounds of concrete, ensuring it will remain stable for years to come.

“It was no small feat to install a 400-pound wooden giraffe,” Purtill said. “We’d hoped to be able to put it straight in, but because of power lines, we needed the help of a crane and a crew from J & A Landscaping, who thankfully volunteered to lend a hand.” 

The Lanier Library will host an open house on August 11, giving folks a chance to check out the new version of Bob. The library, located at 72 Chestnut Street in Tryon, has been a fixture in the community for over a century.

The new Bob the Giraffe sculpture will surely become a beloved part of the Lanier Library’s collection and a symbol of the community’s commitment to the arts and culture. For more information about the library and its upcoming events, visit