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http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-turner-sculpture-20101117,0,341614.story

Developer wants to install Baltimore's own Eiffel Tower
Pat Turner plans 236-foot sculpture on Middle Branch waterfront


By Edward Gunts, The Baltimore Sun

11:00 PM EST, November 17, 2010
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Paris has the Eiffel Tower.

St. Louis has the Gateway Arch.

And Baltimore could soon have a monumental work of art if developer Pat Turner is successful in his quest to place a 236-foot-tall illuminated metal sculpture on the Middle Branch waterfront as a focal point of his $1.5 billion Westport development.

During a meeting of Baltimore's Public Art Commission on Wednesday, Turner unveiled plans showing how the untitled sculpture, by Tennessee artist John Henry, would be placed within a traffic circle on one of the major roads planned for the Westport development.

Turner, president of the Turner Development Group, said the sculpture would be as tall as his high-rise Silo Point condominium tower in Locust Point and visible from miles around. He said the sculpture would be one of the tallest works of art in the United States and serve as part of a larger economic development strategy to call attention to Westport and the Middle Branch waterfront. The sculpture would serve as a signature feature for the development, which has been designed to include residences, offices, shops, a hotel and recreational space, Turner said.

"We want the sculpture to be the center of attention of the project," he told the panel. "We're redesigning the project around the sculpture. It does for Baltimore what the Arch does in St. Louis. It would become a symbol of the region."

As presented to the arts panel, the sculpture looked like a series of spikes or stiff blades of grass, radiating in different directions. Henry, who is based in Chattanooga, Tenn., said that the sculpture would most likely be made of perforated steel impregnated with light-emitting diodes and that he would want to set up a large local studio to fabricate it.

Henry and art consultant Stephanie Waters, executive director of the John Henry Baltimore Sculpture Project, said the sculpture was originally conceived for the 2010 World Equestrian Events in Lexington, Ky., but was not completed in time for that occasion. Henry said he "fell in love" with Baltimore while he was a patient at Johns Hopkins Hospital last winter and would be delighted if his sculpture could be erected here.

The arts panel was not required to take any formal action because the sculpture would be built on privately owned land with private funds. Turner and Henry said that it would not be in the way of jets taking off from or landing at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, but they added that the sculpture plan would need "site approval" from Baltimore's planning commission. Turner said he has begun to raise money for the sculpture and hopes to have it erected within two years. He said he did not yet have a firm cost estimate.

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The irony of this is that Baltimore almost got the real Eiffel Tower. It was originally built as a temporary structure for some sort of World's Fair or exposition. Some folks in Paris wanted it removed after the fair ended, and there was a proposal to dismantle it and move it to Baltimore. I'm wondering how history would have changed if that had actually happened. Would its presence have attracted far more interest in Baltimore, and would it be a more important city today as a result?
 

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The irony of this is that Baltimore almost got the real Eiffel Tower. It was originally built as a temporary structure for some sort of World's Fair or exposition. Some folks in Paris wanted it removed after the fair ended, and there was a proposal to dismantle it and move it to Baltimore. I'm wondering how history would have changed if that had actually happened. Would its presence have attracted far more interest in Baltimore, and would it be a more important city today as a result?
Here's an article on that

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2009-05-31/news/0905300098_1_eiffel-tower-shoken-baltimore

Due to its low news coverage, it's speculated as a hoax but who knows. That would be awesome to have the Eiffel tower in Clifton Park!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I like it. Its a very unique structure. I think if it is built it would be a very well known landmark for the city.

Sure, most of the people in the city won't get it and call it ugly but almost all large scale artworks were criticized at first.

I hope it gets built.
 

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Landmarks mark something on land. Something of relevance to the city (Seattle's Space Needle) or in honor of someone/something (Gateway Arch) or at least something functional (Golden Gate Bridge).

Throwing some metal together (without any regard to its relevance to art) doesn't make it a landmark.
 

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Landmarks mark something on land. Something of relevance to the city (Seattle's Space Needle) or in honor of someone/something (Gateway Arch) or at least something functional (Golden Gate Bridge).

Throwing some metal together (without any regard to its relevance to art) doesn't make it a landmark.
Incorrect. The definition is...

"The position of a prominent or well-known object in a particular landscape; "the church steeple provided a convenient landmark" "

Like i have said before, the Eiffel Tower's relevance to Paris and France when built? Nothing. Today? That once-considered "eyesore" is the World's most visited Landmark.
 

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So you're saying that landmarks need a reason to be built (such as if it is for the worlds fair), even if they, like the Eiffel tower, have no relevance to the city or culture?
 

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When the thread title included "Eiffel Tower" I was thinking observation tower...but then it said 236 feet and I was like thats rather short for a tower in a city that has buildings that tall already. Idk...............looks like a form of shameless promotion to me.......I like my N.Y. Chicken franchise headquarter building idea in the shape of chicken more......but since the city is trying to be super artsy its not a totallly bad idea....interested to see how it would fit into the Westport plan.............no doubt people around the region and nation would know its in Baltimore........Westport area.....so hey......
 

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I agree with you, MDGuy. The Eiffel Tower being built for the World's Fair is no different than this thing being built to mark the transformation of the Middle Branch.

Another analogous example is Cloud Gate in Chicago.
 

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On the subject of sculptures, anybody know what happened to the meatball sculpture on North Ave.? It looks like a car may have driven up into it? One side is all smashed in.
 

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This seems very forced and fake. Surely Baltimore deserves better than that.
 
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