City Council Kultur

Space Junk landing at Los Altos Heritage Apricot Orchard

Found Space Sculpture landing at Los Altos Apricot Orchard
"Reversed Prometheus" sculpture is set to be installed here along San Antonio Drive
Written by lalahpolitico

UPDATE July 12, 2017:  City Council DENIED approval of the installation of this sculpture. They showed their wisdom in avoiding this mistaken proposed location.

ORIGINAL July 10, 2017:
An imposing 12-foot tall modern sculpture could be installed at the edge of the Los Altos Heritage Apricot Orchard right at the busy downtown intersection of San Antonio and W. Edith. City Council could allow it by consent vote July 11, 2017.  Full Agenda.

Reverse Prometheus, found space junk sculpture

Titled “Reversed Prometheus,” this 12-foot sculpture resonates with the new STEM push at our schools and celebrates our tech-driven local economy. It is appealing  Just not in the proposed location.

Lalahpolitico: Maybe put a more human-scale object d’art along San Antonio and Los Altos Heritage Apricot Orchard.  Or how about a 4-foot tall mosaic-clad chicken sculpture?  Or does the community think that the grassy spot adjoining the Los Altos Heritage Apricot Orchard should just be left vacant?  Did we enjoy the billboard that the City put up in this spot in 2012 in order to show a plan for a new expensive community center? Hmmmm.

Here are some additional observations.

Los Altos Main Library window in Childrens Room

Los Altos Main Library window in Childrens Room. Toddler friendly. The proposed space-themed Reverse Prometheus sculpture would be visible from this window.


Tradition of Cute Animal Sculptures

This area in front of the library feels like the Library’s space.  There are already three animal-themed sculptures installed around the Los Altos Main library building which adjoins the Los Altos Heritage Apricot Orchard.  The sculptures seem to have been chosen for the toddler to k-3 crowd.

Bronze Seal head sculpture outside the doors to the Los Altos Main Library.

Bronze Seal head sculpture outside the doors to the Los Altos Main Library.


The seal head is human-scaled and can be reached and touched by toddlers.


Enchante Hotel, Los Altos. As seen from Los Altos Library

Abstract fish mounted at 3 or 4 feet at Los Altos Library. Boulanger sculpture in balcony of Enchante Hotel.

The abstract tropical fish is at about 4 feet height and stands in front of the library fountain.  In the photo background, see how the Enchante Hotel has installed a whimsical human-scale sculpture of a Baker Man – a boulanger. So cute for the littlest kids.


STEM Theme already Evident along San Antonio

There is already an imposing STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) artifact we all see along San Antonio Road… the 90-foot tall Police communication tower.  So do we need more STEM artifacts right here? Perhaps we should just stay consistent with the animal-themed art adjacent to the the library? Or just let the trees in the Los Altos Heritage Apricot Orchard shine alone. Why try to steal their show?

Los Altos Police communcations tower

The police radio tower already does a great job representing the importance of STEM education and our tech-driven local economy. Apricot trees everywhere else…


Traffic Concerns of Proposed Location

This San Antonio – Edith – Main  intersection is loaded with vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle traffic.  The sidewalks here are used by both pedestrians and bikes.  It would be a shame to narrow the passageway here by putting such a tall, distracting piece of hard metal and concrete so close to the sidewalk and thus so close to us soft-tissued humans. “Do we not bleed?”

Proposed location as show in City Council agenda for July 11, 2017. Precarious?


When Lalahpolitico visited the civic center earlier today to document the library sculptures, I saw a common sight at this intersection:  bicyclists illegally using the sidewalks. The area feels so dangerous and noisy.  I think the bicyclists are smart to evade the dangers, and as a walker, I don’t mind sharing the sidewalk with them. Stay alive!

Imagine if the 12-foot sculpture were installed where that leftmost A-frame sign stands! Ouch – distracting and something to crash into.


Alternate Locations for Reverse Prometheus

There is a nice spot next to the Hillview sports field which could accommodate the 12-foot Reversed Prometheus. It has the advantage of reaching the age group with actual STEM interests – kids 4 to 12 grade.

Older kids with STEM interests will notice and explore the Reverse Prometheus if it were located here — Hillview Soccer field next to the shaded picnic tables, adjoining the Library parking lot and Bus Barn theater.


Do all sculptures need to be on City-owned land? Perhaps. But wouldn’t installing Reverse Prometheus at a public high school be interesting?  LA High has all that frontage along Almond Ave. [FYI:  Public sculptures are a  loan by the artist, usually for a term of two years. The City does provide a stipend of $1000 to the artist towards moving and installation costs. ]

Your Proposed Location?

And dear readers, if you have a suggestion as to where to locate Reverse Prometheus please contact folks at City Council or the Public Arts Commission.


About the author


Norma Schroder is an economics & market researcher by trade and ardent independent journalist, photographer and videographer by avocation. Enthralled by the growth of the tech industry over the decades, she became fascinated with the business of local politics only in the past several years.

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