The statue was first proposed in the early 1890's, after the rise of American Star. Local leaders felt that the region needed a monumental structure of its own to compete with the then-new Statue of Liberty in New York and other public engineering projects going on in other American cities. Prominent experts from around the world were consulted, notably local architect Paul Alleyn (who had also designed the Central Library). However, disputes over the statue's design and placement prevented the work from getting off the ground. In particular, rival groups of philanthropists from the north and south sides of Steward’s Bay each sought to have the statue built in their respective cities.
The fire of 1908 put a temporary halt to efforts with respect to the statue, but within a couple of years, planning began again. The city's inhabitants, rich and poor, felt a new kinship with the idea of heroism. Efforts to construct the statue became emblematic of the newly united community's resilience and courage. During his tenure as first mayor of the new Titan City, Anthony Fitzgerald heavily promoted the statue's construction as a symbol of the newly united city. One newspaper wag referred to the push for construction as "this invincible colossus of feeling," and the term "colossus" soon became informally attached to the statue itself.
Construction was finally completed in 1922, and after an extensive refurbishing in the late 1980's through 1990's, today, the statue stands as a symbol of the city second only to the Phoenix of Phoenix Plaza.