Saturday, July 17, 2010

Why not An Earthwork (Riverwork) at the Heart of Our Banks Project?

I've always seen the Tyler Davidson Fountain as Cincinnati's Statue of Liberty. The welcoming arms of the Genius of Water greeting all who come to the Queen City is such a beautiful symbol of which the city should be proud. I'm particular drawn to the theme of water celebrated throughout the imagery of the fountain. The different roles water plays in our lives both in play and work force us to recall the natural in the middle of the industrial.

The history of this fountain as the symbol of the city marks the universal importance of water as well as specifically pointing to the Ohio River. One of the earlier stages of developing our riverfront was to move the fountain (again) to the square, maintaining its focus. Since then the city has again grown towards this center with celebrations happening throughout the year. Like the sculpted imagery of the fountain, water is the focus of our work and play.

The wonderful dance of people from various places into the city mirrors the movement of water through the Ohio River and the flow of water through the fountain. It is this movement through natural and industrial spaces that is at the heart of city planning, and Cincinnati has a wonderful model to follow: The Genius of Water.

As we develop our banks, I think it is a good time(and hope it is not too late) to consider another permanent art installation that celebrates our lives on the river; an earthwork that follows the Tyler Davidson Fountain in its lead to welcome and celebrate what connects us.

Crowning our city is an exciting moment, but we must not forget the foundation, where the people work, play, gather.