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Cal. Ave. business group supports sculpture

Original post made on May 28, 2008

After considering whether to keep a fountain at the end of Palo Alto's California Avenue or install a new sculputre, a group of business people have made a Solomonic recommendation: Have both, they said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 28, 2008, 5:14 PM

Comments (17)

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Posted by Jean
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 28, 2008 at 7:00 pm

Yes, we need a fountain. I hope the funds are identified because the fountain adds an important element that a sculpture does not. The current fountain is very soothing.

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Posted by Big Al
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2008 at 8:29 pm

you wants fountains
you should go to italy
theys gots lots of fountains there!

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Posted by Peety
a resident of College Terrace
on May 28, 2008 at 8:52 pm

Big Al. Why should the Italians have all the fun?

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Posted by Gardner
a resident of Midtown
on May 28, 2008 at 9:14 pm

We seem to have three options: 1: Fix the fountain for $200,000; 2: Replace the fountain with a sculpture for $185,000; 3: Replace the fountain with a sculpture/fountain for what, $385,000 (with mysterious fountain/art funding)

I would appreciate the press or government to please explain what is wrong with the fountain? Last I saw it was working fine.

How about planting a couple of big-ass redwood trees (Palos Altos), a bench or two… oh that’s right, the irrigation system would cost $300,000 and the committee would take another three years to make the decision.

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Posted by Jim M
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 28, 2008 at 9:25 pm

Fix the fountain! Perhaps it needs repair due to negligent care? We didn't tear down Children's Library for a new sculpture. Please don't lose another city landmark & memory to suit civic convenience. Fix the fountain!

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Posted by Midtown guy
a resident of Midtown
on May 29, 2008 at 9:14 am

We already have heard protests about the austere cold fountain and the
whacko art that already makes California Avenue funky. Yet DeVincenzi insistson combining the sculpture with the fountain, even though many merchants on California Avenue have spoken of the hodge-podge character of "art" already selected for the avenue. Who needs a modernist, edgy sculpture, when simply fixing the fountain will please kids, dogs. pedestrian strollers who like water sounds, birds, people who like refracted light, those who appreciate the dynamic changes of water surfaces, and so on. Why does something so simple have to be wrought with such complexity? If it's controversial it must be "ART"???

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Posted by City Employees Ploy.....
a resident of Midtown
on May 29, 2008 at 9:18 am

Fix the FOUNTAIN ????

The FOUNTAIN WORKS ... Whats there to fix ?

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Posted by Suzie
a resident of another community
on May 29, 2008 at 9:52 am

Fix the existing fountain!
That sculpture is very ugly and belongs in Stonehenge not Palo Alto.

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Posted by Peter
a resident of another community
on May 29, 2008 at 10:01 am

The cheapest option would be to remove the fountain.

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Posted by R Wray
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 29, 2008 at 10:18 am

Sell the fountain, its site, and the tunnel. To acquire funds to maintain the fountain and tunnel, the purchaser may want to charge a toll to use the tunnel.

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Posted by Capitalist
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 29, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Sell the naming rights to the fountain and make the corporation pay for the plumbing. Perhaps we could end up with the "Google Gusher" or the "Space Systems Spouter."

By the way, have any of you SEEN the fountain lately? It needs more than plumbing. The bowl looks to be resting precariously on three ugly metal posts.

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Posted by Mayfield resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2008 at 9:21 pm

The fountain is pathetic and worn out triteness. It used to be that kids put detergent which of course made a mess, then they put some weird blue chemical in so that it didn't invite pranks all the time.

However, now that I've seen the first picture above, I understand why the business people responded as they did to Ellen Wyman's "survey". How could the Art Commission have wasted 3 years on something so that does not fit with California Avenue? Time to find a more suitable solution that ties together the end of the street. And how about replacing those sorry bike lockers too?

By the way, editor, why is there no Mayfield neighborhood listed in the options?? Lots of people live between Calif Ave , the train tracks, Oregon Expressway and El Camino! Please acknowledge that we exist!

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Posted by business owner
a resident of College Terrace
on May 31, 2008 at 8:46 pm

As a business owner within walking distance -- a very short walk -- of the fountain, I am surprised that we were never given any notice of the plans to remove and replace the fountain, nor were we offered any preview of what the new art would look like. As an art major, I think the collection of art on California Avenue is truly an abomination. I won't go into details about all of the sculpture, but California Avenue has the worst collection of "stuff" I have ever seen. There are some wonderful sculptures in many of the parks in Palo Alto, but whoever is selecting the art for California Avenue needs to look to better advisors. Perhaps the City Council could step in and put a stop to this waste of money. Fixing the sidewalks might be a better investment.

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Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 1, 2008 at 1:35 am

Not all California Ave. merchants want the fountain replaced - far from it! Just ask around. In fact, only a very small number of merchants (maybe 3-4)0 have "voted" to replace the fountain.

I have yet to speak to ONE resident (among dozens I've asked) who wants to replace the fountain. Why are their voices not being heard?

Either the city comes up with money (maybe a development fee, or *something*) to fix the fountain, or it comes up with the money to make the proposed sculpture a piece that has a prominent water element, with flowing, splashing, kinetic surfaces - something that serves the vernacular needs of the public space, instead of pleasing the purely abstract sensibilities of those who consider themselves art insiders.

Art is in the everyday! Let's keep it there!

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Posted by out of towner
a resident of another community
on Jun 1, 2008 at 7:48 am

Wow, I had no idea there were people who didn't like the art on Ca. so much.

Me, I love it. I love the personality, the funkiness, the sweetness..there is nothing political or gross or offensive in any way, they are interesting pieces and fun, fun fun.

So, why do you need to spend money on this, exactly? I mean, with a chronic "give me more" taxing attitude by any and all governments entities, including PA, why spend money to fix what ain't broke?

I don't live in PA, but I go to CA street for several reasons at least once per week, and every time I do, I appreciate the fact that CA Ave. doesn't look like every other business street in the Bay area.

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Posted by k
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 1, 2008 at 11:47 am

Can someone total up the taxpayer money that paid for what business owner, above, (an art major) called "the worst collection of "stuff" I have ever seen" (California Ave so-called art)? City Council members, are you aware of what your arts commission has done with taxpayer money?? I share business owner's opinion.

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Posted by Carol Blitzer, Palo Alto Weekly associate editor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2008 at 9:21 am

We do include the "Mayfield" area in our neighborhood coverage -- we just lump it into Evergreen Park, which is just north of California Avenue. If you know of an active homeowners' association for Mayfield, please let us know!

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