Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Wichita's newest sculpture is a go. Approved by the city council, the WaterWalk sculpture was passed by a 4-3 vote.
At 39-feet tall, the abstract cor-ten steel and bronze structure will soon adorn the main pedestrian plaza at Waterman and Main, providing a grand entrance to Wichita's WaterWalk.
"Wichita has made great strides toward a downtown development, and endorsing a major sculpture piece as the corner stone of the Water Walkway Plaza, will surge us ahead significantly, toward a more beautiful, a more livable and more walkable downtown," said Judy Goodpasture, Wichita Arts Council.
Before council members gave their okay Tuesday, council member Michael O'Donnell disagreed with the project, saying now is not the time to be spending money.
"I believe taking action on this right now is inappropriate and somewhat unforgivable, because it seems like an audacious amount of money," said O'Donnell.
Council member Janet Miller pointed out, the $350,000 sculpture should already be a go.
It is part of a tiff project, using funds that have already been reserved for the WaterWalk, an area that will help revitalize downtown Wichita.
"It has to do with this particular project, and what it means for revitalization, increased tax revenues, new jobs, retaining talent, all those kinds of things that we've been focused on for the past 2 years," said Miller.
Artist Albert Paley will build the sculpture in New York, and ship it to Wichita in sections.
Paley says it will be erected, and in place by November.