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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 2, 2013 10:08 AM. The previous post in this blog was City of Portland, broke, keeps handing money to Tri-Met. The next post in this blog is Here's somebody who gets it exactly right. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Double Standard of the Day from Portland City Hall

Our readers have commented a little in recent months about the hideous art installations that have been erected near the east side bridge ramps over the Willamette River in inner Portland. These were part of the utterly wasteful streetcar extension that hardly anybody's riding. Now one reader points out that these grotesqueries are rusting out, no doubt quite by design, and making a mess of the nearby sidewalks. Here's the one at Grand and Hawthorne:



Can you imagine if the City of Portland caught a private property owner allowing rust to leach out from a structure onto the sidewalks and be washed down the precious sewers into the Willamette River? Said property owner would be crucified for a lack of salmon correctness. But when it's the city creating the pollution, hey, it's like West Hayden Island -- it's only wildlife.

Comments (27)

That's all courtesy of the Arts Tax on development with the cute name of 1.5% for Art.

1% for Rust

At least that installation is meant to acknowledge the warehouses and real blue collar jobs that used to be in that area. They are the ghosts of some of urban renewal's victims.

Before any politician takes the oath of office they should be required to read Aristotle's thesis on what makes a city a city and be tested on it. It isn't rust shared by all citizens, "it's the pursuit of virtue that makes a city a city", and that's not in the overall plan of this cluster f--k of a city.

And cue Arty the Seal to offer the defense in three...two...one...

I was asked recently what that structure was going to be when it was finished and I replied, "It is finished. It's tax subsidized art, cost $750,000 dollars, and represents the destruction of Portland".

The person who asked me said it made them think of Hiroshima.

But when it's the city creating the pollution, hey, it's like West Hayden Island -- it's only wildlife.

But when it's the city chopping down a grand Sequoia tree 120 ft. tall 18 feet around out of our parks, hey, it's only a tree for the bike paths/nature path!

There is an entire stand of Sequoia's up in Pier Park that need to be protected. Oh and another irony, this week at city council:

284 TIME CERTAIN: 9:30 AM – Proclaim April 2013 to be celebrated as Arbor Month in the City ofPortland (Resolution introduced by Mayor Hales) 20 minutes requested for items 284 and 285
http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/61386
Celebrate our beautiful urban forest during Arbor Month, April 2013! Discover Portland’s 300 Heritage Trees and join us for our many tree walks, classes, workshops and more. Learn how Portland’s trees work 24/7: filtering our water, cleaning our air, cooling the city, providing wildlife habitat, enhancing livability, and increasing property resale value.
Join in the Arbor Day Festival on April 20th, Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University!

That Arbor Day Festival could not be held in Pier Park, could it, heavens forbid that people should see what has been done!

Promoting a celebration in a desired location draws attention away from an undesired one. That's an old trick... "Potemkin Village" comes to mind.

300 Heritage trees and counting.

This spot should also have a statute made of scrap rusty iron molded in the likeness of Sam Adams with him showing emptied, money-less pockets. Maybe skull and bones symbol embossed in the brick right in front of this statute.

The existing rusting scrap metal structure is already a daily reminder of the financial lunacy of Portland City Hall. This proposed statute would help daily associate such financial lunacy with the likes of ex-Mayor Adams, possibly keeping him from ever running again in this town. (I could be dreaming about preventing the latter.)

Bob Clark,
Let us hope it is a viable dream, or else we are in for a complete nightmare. However,
I don't know that we can escape with the likes of this current council either.

Are we so morally bankrupt we spend huge public monies, not educating and training youth with marketable/valuable job skills, but rather to almost like dig holes (erect scrap meta heaps, in this instance) only for the purpose of having to spend money to fill them a short while later?

Why is it only a few people in this City seem to see and acknowledge the lunacy of City Hall and its pimping federal government representatives for what it is?

I wonder if dogs and/or bums urinate on those things.

Mr Grumpy are you serious that this thing cost $750,000?

I stand corrected... $700,000 It's "part" of an art project.
Joseph Rose: Solving the mystery of the Hawthorne Bridge 'thingy'

There is a symbolism there, not sure which one fits best. . .
. . . it has a kind of ghost town eerie look to it. . .
. . . places where no one lives anymore.

I wonder how long it would take to cut that thing down in the middle of the night?

Not suggesting any type of vandalism or anything.

The other obnoxious thing--there used to be a little slip lane off Grand onto the bridge, which was removed to make way for that monstrosity. Now, you have to pass through the intersection itself which--you guessed it--has a Xerox/ACS red-light camera at the ready. I'd be a bit scared to make a perfectly legal left-on-red there, given Xerox/ACS (and their ilk) love to rake in cash on technicalities and the limitations of their own technology.

It may well be that the city plans to pay for that "art" from all the moolah they're going to get forcing everyone to drive into the crosshairs of that camera.

It has become painfully obvious to me that on retirement I need to take up creating "art" since there is absolutely no talent required and the money seems to be pretty good..

A work of art shouldn't assault the public's senses with something hideous, but it's not the artist's fault that thing is there - somebody in Portland picked it. May they rust in ---

I like the warehouse ghost public sculpture. The rusty shadow on the sidewalk is appropriately creepy somehow, and isn't a serious pollution problem, imho.

Furthermore, my civic sensibilities are a lot less offended by "1% for art" than the 50% or whatever huge portion of the budget that goes to pay rich developers to build equally useless projects that aren't even artistically interesting. For example, I'd rather see that giant clown deer head sculpture built than most of the crap they waste money on in this town.

isn't a serious pollution problem, imho

Yes, but you don't work for the city. They'd crucify you if they caught you doing this, particularly if they were after you for some other, hidden reason.

Where's a metal thief when you need one?

The sculpture doesn't even represent the SE Industrial businesses of today or of yore--
it's neither accurate of the building structures of the manufacturers and warehouses, nor of the things they made and stored.

This is an Art 101 project--I'm surprised it's not rusting rebar. This is childish.

No doubt Mayor Adam's entourage found this "edgy."

The rust will cause concrete spalling over time. Can't wait for the first seismic rumble.

When the first art went up in the transit mall downtown, there were some nice things. I still like the giant cat and Kvinneakt. The umbrella guy is whimsical. And the giant animals playing in water are delightful. Then it seemed as though the city began subsidizing "bargain basement" art that no member of the public was willing to buy. Fugly stuff that had probably been sitting around the artists' lofts for a long time. There's a two-piece sculpture downtown that always looks to me like one piece is vomiting into the other. Nice.

Oh, and there's a big sign at the streetcar stop at the east end of the Broadway bridge, heralding the arrival of yet another art installation - a "sculptural shelter." I can't even describe what it looks like, so you'll have to go here to have a look:

http://www.oregonlive.com/art/index.ssf/2012/08/two_public_art_projects_underw.html

I think it just crawled out of "DUNE."

Oh, and surprise, surprise. There's an app for that:

http://publicartpdx.com/

Your tax dollars at work.


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