The City Council is scheduled to vote today on spending nearly $125,000 – or 25% more than initial estimates – to create and install a saddle-shaped metal monument in Silver Lake’s Sunset Junction.
The sculptural piece – officially known as BLOOMRS – was the winner of a design competition held 2-1/2 years ago to create a public monument to be installed in a new public plaza planned for what is now a patch of asphalt at the junction of Sunset and Santa Monica boulevards. The winning entry, selected from a preliminary pool of about 60 entries, was shaped like a giant saddle of woven steel. The flattened mid section of the saddle, designed by the firm All That is Solid, would provide room for seating and landscaping while one of the raid tips of the structure would provide shelter for visitors.
City officials said initially that the entire project was to cost no more than than $100,000. But after the creators of the winning entry spent several months working with city engineers to refine their design and reduce costs, the entire project was still put on hold until the city found sufficient money to build BLOOMRS and the surrounding plaza. The nearly $125,000 to fabricate the monument will come from Council District 13’s share of money used for redevelopment and community services, according to a motion by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell. “This effort is of special benefit for the residents of the City and for CD-13 and deserves financial assistance from the City,” says the motion.
The money would be used to hire Lexington Design & Fabrication and John Labib & Associates to create the sculpture. The designers received a $2,500 contest award financed by the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council.
The Silver Lake saddle will anchor the western end of $1.5-million worth of street improvements along Sunset Boulevard that have been delayed for several years.
In addition to the saddle and street improvements, nearly $4 million in county transportation funds have been earmarked to build a 20,000-square-foot transit plaza with solar-powered bus shelters, bike parking and room for a community gathering space on the triangular parcel that is now home to a Jiffy Lube.
* Update: The City Council adopted the motion.