Famed documentarian Ken Burns will come to Westerville Sept. 22 before the debut of his new documentary, "Prohibition," on PBS in October.

Famed documentarian Ken Burns will come to Westerville Sept. 22 before the debut of his new documentary, "Prohibition," on PBS in October.

The visit was announced at Westerville City Council's June 21 meeting.

Members of Burns' research team have been working with the Westerville Public Library's Local History Center on fact-checking information for the documentary and viewing items from the archives over the past few years, city law director Bruce Bailey said.

Some footage also was shot in the city, he said.

Upon hearing about Westerville's inclusion in the documentary, Bailey said he decided to contact Burns' agent to see if the filmmaker would be willing to visit the city as he promotes the new documentary.

"The question is: Why would he come here?" Bailey said. "Well, the reason is: We asked."

He said it's fitting that Burns would pay tribute to the town in which the Temperance Movement was launched.

"He wouldn't have a show without us. We are the home of the Anti-Saloon League," Bailey said. "This all began in our town 102 years ago."

The Anti-Saloon League chose to locate in Westerville, he said, because the city's Board of Trade offered $9,000 - equivalent to $232,000 today - to the group to purchase a site for its headquarters. Westerville's reputation as a pro-Temperance town also encouraged the group to locate here, he said.

While in central Ohio, Burns will attend a luncheon at the Westerville Public Library and teach a master class at Otterbein University before going to WOSU for an appearance on a local news show.

Local history coordinator Beth Weinhardt said the library will announce details at a later date about a public lottery for tickets to the luncheon.

Bailey also is using Westerville's role in the "Prohibition" documentary and Burns' visit to launch an effort to raise enough funds to construct a public sculpture in Westerville, marking the city's role in the Temperance movement and the impact it had on the city.

Bailey has worked with local sculptor Michael Tizzano to create a model for a sculpture that would be placed in Bicentennial Park, just north of Westerville City Hall. The city has budgeted $200,000 to renovate that park in 2014.

For the sculpture, Prohibition-era photos depicting the destruction of alcohol were viewed for inspiration. A photograph in which New York's police commission watches while two men dump a barrel of alcohol down the sewer was selected.

The scene was re-enacted in front of Westerville City Hall, and photographs were taken that will be used to create a model for the sculpture.

Tizzano's clay model shows two men dumping out a barrel of alcohol as another man in a suit watches. A working fountain would pour water from the barrel.

Depending on the amount of money raised and the space available within the park, two additional figures could be added - a little girl and a police officer watching the scene.

The life-sized re-creation of the photograph would be designed in a way that would encourage people to interact with the sculpture, Tizzano told council.

"There's only one thing missing: contributions," Bailey said. "That's our job to do that."

He said the Westerville Parks Foundation will be taking donations for the sculpture, with the goal of raising enough money by 2014 to include the sculpture in the planned renovations of the park.

The estimated cost of the sculpture, with three figures and the barrel, is $136,000.

Those interested in contributing or in helping with the efforts can call Bailey at (614) 882-2327.