Around Town | March 2, 2018 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - March 2, 2018

Around Town

TAKING A MURAL STANCE ... California Avenue enjoys a wealth of eye-catching murals, from the California poppies growing on the Country Sun Natural Foods building to the sharks floating on the walls of the California Avenue/Alma Street underpass. But the proposal to add a mural by a new store fell flat Thursday morning, when the Architectural Review Board determined that the planned artwork is, in fact, little more than an ad billboard. The board was reviewing a mural proposed by Summit Bicycles featuring an abstracted sequence of gray-and-white wheels and gears, accented by white contours and triangular stripes accompanied by the words "Summit Bicycles." The proposal prompted a debate between planning staff, who thought this submission qualified as art, and the board, which largely disagreed. Board member Peter Baltay described the proposal as a "billboard pretending to be art." Chair Wynne Furth said the proposal "reads like an ad," and board member Robert Gooyer suggested that the words be separated from the graphic portion of the piece. Despite its strong objections, the board did not reject the application but decided to continue discussion at a later date, when it expects to see a revised proposal.

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