Daily Archives: January 9, 2009

CenPhoTV for the week of 1/9/2009

A weekly video webcast about Phoenix living.  For more information, visit their website.

New downtown Phoenix park taking shape

Sky Bloom

Javier Jara works on the new downtown Phoenix park (photo: Michael Schennum, Arizona Republic)

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — The $30 million park taking shape in downtown Phoenix will be like no other the city has built, officials say.  The yet-unnamed spot will use water, lights, shade, and art to create an oasis for nearby Arizona State University students, office workers, residents, and tourists, landscape architect Tom Byrne said. “The concept of the park was an urban weave, so we are weaving together the neighborhood around the park, the offices and ASU,” Byrne said.

The park, which is expected to open in March, covers 2.77 acres and sits in the city’s business district. It’s bound by Central and First avenues and Polk and Fillmore streets.  The park is one of several multimillion-dollar projects — including light rail, a hotel, and expanded convention center — that city leaders hope will revitalize downtown.  To be sure, it’s not as big as New York’s sprawling Central Park or Chicago’s Millennium Park. But it is expected to be a key gathering place in downtown Phoenix and a long-awaited addition to Arizona State University.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Downtown Phoenix Civic Space floating sculpture nears completion

[Connie Cone Sexton, Arizona Republic] — Sky Bloom, the much-debated public art piece taking shape in a downtown Phoenix park, is about to get its final installment: more than 600 pounds of netting that will be affixed to the two blue steel rings already in place.  It’s just what the sculpture’s naysayers and fans have been waiting for.  When it was first approved by the Phoenix City Council in late 2007, its size, design, and $2.4 million price tag became a hot topic.  Some argued it was a waste of money; others said it gave Phoenix a cultural boost and gave jobs to Arizonans, including a Tucson engineering firm, to help create the piece.

The giant rings, erected in June, are the hub of what will be a 100-foot-tall, 100-foot-wide floating net sculpture.  It was designed by Boston artist Janet Echelman with a goal to be the focal point of the 2.7-acre park being developed between Central and First avenues, and Van Buren and Fillmore streets.

The polyester netting is being braided by a company in Washington state.  “The fabric is variegated, to give the appearance of various shades of blue,” said John Neal, vice president of Diamond Nets Inc.  He said they will be finished within a few weeks.  City officials will coordinate with the ongoing development of the park on the right time to attach the net but estimate it will happen before early March, possibly in February.  [Note: To view the full article, click here.  To view a 24/7 webcam of Civic Space construction, click here.]