Letter to the editor
Nov. 21, 2012
To the editor:
First, I must apologize to my Fairbanks community for my apathy and laziness for not getting involved in the selection of the artwork to be displayed at the new triangle park. Now, I feel it is too late to add my two cents worth.
I agree that the chosen artwork is very striking and deserves a place to be shown, but not here. I do not see it as a representation of what our community is all about. Wasn’t the main criteria for the artwork was that it express what Fairbanks is, be it past, present and/or future?
No matter what, I can see this artwork as a potential driving hazard. We all know that at some time during the day the sun will shine on this polished stainless steel structure. This could and will act as a mirror and has the potential to reflect the sun’s rays directly into a driver’s eyes at a place that might be the highest traffic area in Fairbanks.
When I arrived here more than 50 yeas ago, the old narrow gauge locomotive No. 1 was displayed in front of the Big I. Why not build a decorative concrete base with direct and/or indirect lighting that will best fit the space and display this locomotive close to where our past community had it located? The move of the locomotive back from Alaskaland cannot cost very much, and the money saved could be spent for other things, like a bronze placard explaining the history of the narrow gauge railroad in the Fairbanks area. Other historical objects also could be displayed in a similar way.
Flag poles along First Avenue and the new Veterans’ Memorial Bridge could be erected to enhance the Cushman Street bridge flag display.
Sidewalks and park benches connecting everything to the existing plaza and the aura of the existing river front are possible projects.
It is hard for me to believe all this would cost as much as what was allocated and any and all money would remain in our community.
I do appreciate the time and effort the arts committee put in and thank them for their effort. I can only blame myself for any or all disagreements I might have.
Mortimer L. Henry