Richmond Avenue says goodbye to 70-foot saxophone

Officials: Cost of moving 'Smokesax' more than $40K

HOUSTON - Richmond Avenue said goodbye to a 70-foot saxophone that's made its home there for the past 20 years.

The saxophone, called "Smokesax," will be moved from its home in the 6000 block of Richmond in the Galleria area, officials said, to its new home at the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art on Munger Street in east Houston.

Officials said the sax was built by Texas artist Bob Wade as a special installation for the now defunct Billy Blues Bar and Grill.

The sax was constructed out of car parts, oil field pipes and a surfboard as well as an entire Volkswagen Beetle that forms the u-joint base, officials said. The over-sized instrument was restored three years ago.

"We are thrilled to have been chosen to receive this fantastic and much beloved symbol of Texas' creativity from on of the state's most influential contemporary artists," said Lynette Wallace, executive director of the Orange Show Center. "We look forward to permanently installing it on the Orange Show's property and adding to the colorful artistic community in Houston's east end."

Crews started working on the removal process Thursday morning. Officials said the 13-mile journey will take an entire day. Artist Bob Wade will be overseeing the removal and transportation process, officials said. Once at the Orange Show, it will be housed in the organization's warehouse until an exact location has been chosen for permanent display.

Officials said the cost for transportation and installation will total more than $40,000. A majority of which, officials said they're hoping to raise through private donations and public support.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.