Arty mainstreets

precast block awaiting its hole

Shown above is a precast foundation block for urban sculpture. When planted into a hole, only the top portion shows. Upon this plinth will be mounted civic art work. On Preston, these will be Italian-style columns. On West Wellie will be sculptural renditions of fire hydrants. The Preston art pieces will arrive mid-August, according to city officials supervising the final touches on the street.

precast block inserted in hole, surface pavers relaid 

I really look foreward to seeing these art pieces, as they will be the first of their type for an Ottawa main street, as far as I am aware. They are very different from the Bank Street bike racks, which are an artful rendition of a utility device. Clever. The west side sculptures coming this year will be sculptural art for its own sake. Two very different approaches, both valid, both enhancing the streetscape (we hope) and leading to more lively streets … streets that are about more than just parking cars.

4 thoughts on “Arty mainstreets

  1. I find it odd that the benches have their backs to the street. I know they face toward more interesting pedestrian traffic but I would feel uncomfortable with my back that close to the road. I suppose they couldn't put them on the other side of the sidewalk, facing out.

  2. Some benches face to the street, some away from it. When benches are well set back from the street, they face the street. The benches under the Qway have no backs, so you can face the storyboard on each side of the underpass walls. I too thought it was a bit yucky to be back to the street, but having sat on the benches (and they get a lot more derrieres on them than I thought they would) I didn't find back to the street to be a problem. You'll just have to go get an icecream or drink, and try out a buncha benches.

  3. Yes, Doctor, I know you said I should lose some weight but Eric told me to eat more ice cream. I wasn't sure who to believe but I find it hard to argue with more ice cream.

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