Erick William Lippert quite literally worked his way up from the basement to the reach the stars. As a young man Lippert worked as a brick mason, building basements for homes in Iowa. Soon he and his brother Walter formed their own construction firm specializing in infrastructure and utilities work. World War II brought Erick to Oklahoma City to build airfields and military bases around the state. It wasn’t long before Erick fell in love with the city. With his brother’s blessing he opened a second Lippert Bros. office here and set about building one of the most remarkable construction legacies in the city’s history. Beginning with work on Lake Hefner in 1943, Lippert’s firm built such city landmarks as the Cowboy Hall of Fame, Citizens Tower next to the Gold Dome, First Presbyterian Church, and the Crystal Bridge in the Myriad Gardens. His firm also built every building on the OCU campus in the 1950s and 1960s beginning with the majestic Gold Star Memorial Tower in 1950.
Erick Lippert was known to be quietly generous in his adopted hometown. In 1959 he donated the iconic sculpture Eternal Challenge to OCU as a capstone to his work there. He never served on the parks board, but many times he sent crews to help with clean up or small projects in city parks. Also in 1959, he provided this land to the city for use as a public park.