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Idea#236

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The electric sub-station on Monroe St...

Don't we have enough artists in the area to turn the Electrical Sub-station into an art project? I doubt Huntsville Utilities would let anyone screw around on the inside... but can't we screen it creatively? Ideas? Do we need a place to submit drawings and proposals?

Submitted by larry.mason 9 months ago

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  1. The idea was posted
    9 months ago

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Comments (17)

  1. larry.mason Idea Submitter

    I've had a hard time letting this idea go since I brought it up two weeks ago. With camera in hand I've been walking around the area and taking lots pictures. The more pictures I take and the more I explore the area the more I realize that site is the key to a paradigm shift in the way we perceive downtown Huntsville. Here is something to think about; how hard it is to walk from the library or Embassy Suites to Lowe Mill on surface streets, yet the substation is mid point between Courthouse Square and Lowe Mill if a walk way existed under the Governors, Memorial Parkway interchange. In other words as easy as it is to walk from the courthouse to the Von Braun Center it should be that easy to stroll on down to Lowe Mill.

    The substation so prominently visible from so many directions should be a sight that defines Huntsville visually i.e. a "place maker." If it were a place maker a lot of other commercially viable development would fall into place. Aesthetics matter!

    9 months ago
  2. larry.mason Idea Submitter

    I forgot to mention, I think that this project should be funded by 100 percent private donations, no tax payer money. I'm putting together a plan of how that might work... watch this space.

    9 months ago
  3. This idea makes me think that something similar could be done to the pavilion area of the courthouse. Everyone is agreed that the courthouse is an eyesore, right? So, why not allow local artist to submit proposals with mockups for how they would add art/color to the lower-level pavilion facing and columns? It could be a competition. I'm thinking something in the style of how the Saturn V rocket was wrapped, and the tree in the park was wrapped. Although we are probably talking about paint in this case. After all, this is a public building, so why not make it fun looking and not so serious. This would really add to the message of this truly being a public square.

    9 months ago
    1. larry.mason Idea Submitter

      Greg... here is an idea... think of the LED light display on the Oakland Bay Bridge. From kiosks people can submit designs with music that rolls around and is displayed... now think of one of those kiosks in front of Sam & Greg's. people waiting in line to key in a design. Just a thought but it would be fun!

      9 months ago
  4. Good thoughts. I'd definitely back a www.Kickstarter.com project for this art installation! Check them out. It's a great resource to build up funding, if HSV utilities will let you go forth with the project. There are lots of Kickstarter projects just like what you're talking about doing.

    9 months ago
    1. larry.mason Idea Submitter

      Paige, yes I think we can at some stage fund this through Kickstater... but here is the thing with kickstarter you need a real concrete project, with designs and plans. So my idea, and it is not a easy leap I'm not a shaker or a mover, but I think we need some interested people of means that want to see Huntsville become a world class city could be persuaded to kick in a little seed money maybe 1k a pop to use for an artist competition (you can't use kickstarter for competitions). Then we hold a competition, the doners and some city official and art experts could be the first round jury. After they pick say five or so designs the public would get a chance to vote on their favorite. The prize money goes to the winner. Once we have an artistic design then we can go to kickstarter and raise the money for an engineering design. One we have all the approvals (and they will be many and vigorous) then we can go to kickstarter again for construction (maybe in phases). Anyway that is how I think it could be done. They maybe other ideas out there... I love to hear about them.

      9 months ago
  5. http://blogging.la/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/DSC_3384.jpg

    This is what was done in Hermosa Beach California to hid the ugly power plant. Just a huge wall put up with a mural. I have thought about this project for downtown often. Glad to see your post!!!

    8 months ago
    1. Yes! This on a much smaller scale around that ugly sub-station is just the ticket.

      8 months ago
  6. Landscaping would be a good way to screen the unsightly sub station. Use of tall growing evergreens and other attractive trees and shrubs.

    8 months ago
  7. Landscaping is restricted by Huntsville Utilities as squirrels and other wildlife have often caused power interruptions at substations.

    7 months ago
  8. As for lighting, a couple of years ago, lighting similar to what is now on the Lowe Mill tower was attempted. There was not large enough planes for the light to be visibly reflected and seen. There has been many people thinking on this for several years. Keep up the creativity. Something surely can be found!

    7 months ago
  9. larry.mason Idea Submitter

    The Oakland Bay Bridge in San Francisco has an art display that is interactive and amazing. LED lights are used which are controlled by software that allows people to create patterns and time sync'ed sequences on the computer which is then displayed on the bridge. That would be cool. But of course it would only help during the night hours, when the substation is not really an eyesore. Some kind of screening should still be considered. The most creative thing to do though would be to hold a design competition, with prize money for the starving artists of the community. If the constraints or problems are know ahead of time, I'm sure that creative minds can find design solutions.

    7 months ago
  10. larry.mason Idea Submitter

    Maybe a series of giant purple squirrels that form a ring around the the fencing... something a kids could climb all over and yet they represent our biggest fears about the substation - SQUIRRELS EEEKK!

    6 months ago
  11. Moderator

    Larry for the win!

    6 months ago
    1. larry.mason Idea Submitter

      Thanks Dennis, I could use a few wins! :) But win or lose I'm having fun!

      6 months ago
  12. Other possibilities that would be ever evolving, community building and interactive, would be, with the possible permission of HSV Utilities, (or not, what could they do? ) is to replicate the Key / Lover's bridge in Paris, or for Huntsville, Love's electric station, (?). See http://www.parischerie.com/4384/lovers-bridge-over-the-seine-river/

    6 months ago
  13. Of course with the many corporations with identification lanyards, toeing lanyards would be interesting concept somewhere.

    6 months ago