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