By Carolyn Gusoff

MANORVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A crowdfunding effort is underway to save an iconic art installation to the Hamptons.

The giant deer head known as “Stargazer” has fallen into severe disrepair.

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As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reports, the man who built it decades ago is offering to build it back stronger.

It’s a landmark you can’t miss at the gateway to the Hamptons. A once proud sculpture named Stargazer is showing its age. Storms have torn away its red plywood skin, exposing its steel bones.

“I feel pain for the sculpture. We put a lot of effort into it,” said David Morris.

(credit: CBS2)

Three decades ago, Morris built the 50-foot sculpture with his own hands, designed by his longtime companion, artist Linda Scott. In her memory, he’s on a mission to save it.

“It represents coming to the Hamptons,” he said. “They’ve finally reached it. They’ve reached the sun, the beauty, nature.”

He’s offering to rebuild it stronger, and waterproof.

“I have a relationship with it. I’ve been out here painting it. I’ve been on ladders. I’ve almost killed myself on it,” he said. “This will survive for sure.”

The Schlosses of Manhattan donated to the cause.

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“Everyone compares it to the Statue of Liberty.  We come out, we all feel our blood pressure go down,” Eleanor Schloss said.

“It’s just a landmark that we love and we would love to see it saved,” one person said.

Sitting on a leased patch of a private sod farm because it was too big to safely be installed on a highway, Stargaze has become a fodder of debate for decades.

“To me it looks like a deer looking up, but to my children it looks like a chicken,” one person said.

Morris explains that Scott wanted it to be abstract, but had in mind a deer with an antler in its mouth gazing toward the stars after outwitting hunters.

“Whatever you go for, whatever your talent is, go for it because if you don’t, you never will know and you’ll have a  regret,” Morris said. “The Stargazer and the antler represent victory.”

Morris’ goal is to raise $100,000, and he believes with volunteers to help, and donated material, the Stargazer can live on, on land the owner has agreed to lease for at least the next 50 years.

“She would be delighted,” Morris said.

He hopes Linda is gazing down with hope and pride.

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If you’d like to contribute to the fundraiser, CLICK HERE.

Carolyn Gusoff