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What’s the deal with the artificial cow by the Trolley Path Condominiums on Wrightsville Avenue?

Ben Steelman


The lifesize, painted fiberglass cow — alternately named “Hospitality,” “Accowmodations” or just plain “Bossy” — has been a Port City landmark since September 2000, when it was erected by local businessman Walter Pancoe. It stands in the front yard of the 2200 Wrightsville Office Park, one of Pancoe’s projects. Originally closer to the intersection of Wrightsville Avenue and the Dawson Street Extension, it was moved to its present location — almost directly across the street from The Creek Apartments — in 2007 to make way for construction.

The cow sculpture was originally part of a herd of 300 or more, erected around the city of Chicago as a public art project. (Remember, Chicago used to have all those stockyards …) Each cow was decorated by young artists to emphasize some aspect of the Windy City’s business or cultural heritage.

Wilmington’s cow was first commissioned by a discount hotel-reservations service founded by Polly Pancoe Kortlander, Pancoe’s daughter, so it takes a hotel theme. (If you notice, it’s wearing earrings shaped like hotel keys — unless the vandals have made off with them again.) Hence, “Hospitality” or “Accowmodations.”

The “Cows on Parade” display was temporary, so after the cow served its term in Chicago, Pancoe decided to import it to Wilmington as a bitty of whimsy. He even added the little gazebo to give it some protection from the weather.

The cow wears a garland of azaleas in season. For a long time after Sept. 11, 2001, it was festooned with red, white and blue ribbons and little American flags; these tend to reappear around patriotic holidays. During the Christmas season, the cow sprouts antlers and pretends to be a “reincow,” according to Pancoe (who occasionally channels messages from the sculpture to her fans).

Every so often — as in 2007 — the cow has to be brought in for cleaning and to repair the results of any vandalism. Its main purpose, according to Pancoe, is to put a smile on somebody’s face.

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5 Responses to “ What’s the deal with the artificial cow by the Trolley Path Condominiums on Wrightsville Avenue?”

  1. On June 24, 2009 at 12:06 am Donna B wrote:


  2. On July 22, 2009 at 10:57 am Kathy Gautier wrote:

    Love the cow!! I always smile when I travel through there and see her. I agree with other post, vandals, leave the cow alone. She is sweet!

  3. On July 22, 2009 at 11:29 am Irene Yeates wrote:

    We sure do miss that cow. Here in Saratoga Springs, horses stand about protecting their businesses. The most noticeable is Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor colored horse!

  4. On July 22, 2009 at 4:38 pm Miss Victoria B. wrote:

    I am glad that the “Lady Bovine” is there in her protective shelter:-) !!! She has become in my heart a “sprititual friend” of life since she was created from a wonderful artist who himself enjoys life as well.

    If one has either watched the Travel Channel or either visited the Netherlands, you will find bovines in front of business of which they represent. Juist wish Wilmington, NC had a few more …in fact there is one on Hawthorne Rd. before you cross over to Hawthorne at Oleander. It is a nice one but I do love the one on Wrigthsville Avenue the best! :-)

    So, the next time you see “Lady Bovine” as she smiles at you just smile back and think of it as an angel in disguise
    who loves you just a “wee” bit.

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