(One of our favorite wacky Alabama attractions resides in downtown Huntsville and even some residents of the city did not know of its existence.)
Who: “Eggbeater Jesus”
What: A giant mosaic depiction of Jesus surrounded by the cosmos on the side of the First Baptist Church of Huntsville. It stands 47 feet high, 154 feet long, originally weighing 6 tons, and originally composed of 1.4 million square glass tiles.
When: Dedicated in January 1974 during the heyday of the Apollo program, it was inspired by the Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. The church also has a towering steeple that resembles a rocket ship.
Why: The official name of the mural is “Cosmic Christ” but the locals all affectionately refer to it as “Eggbeater Jesus” due to its resemblance to the kitchen utensil.
As eye-catching as it is, the construction has proved to not be as trustworthy as their Savior. Over the years, tiles have regularly fallen to the ground. The church has tried various methods of repair over the years with little success. A study found that the machine-made pressed glass, about the size of a thumbnail, didn’t have enough surface area for proper bonding to the surface of the building. The tiles were bonded to some sort of netting with an epoxy that didn’t work well with the smooth substrate wall.
In 2016, a plan was approved to save the mosaic by making a new collage with 4.3 million blown glass tiles, hand-cut in Italy. The new and improved layout will be assembled as close to the original work as possible. Restoration work is hoped to be completed by 2021.