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Downtown Substation To Get Million Dollar Art Wall

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 09:47 PM CDT

A $1.7 million dollar art wall will be built around the Downtown Austin Seaholm substation.

The facility is located at Third and West street supplying power to the area.

An Austin Energy spokesperson tells us the chain link fence around the station did not fit into the design of the central library across from it.

That's when Art in Public Places stepped in.

"They had looked at replacing it or moving it, but it was cost prohibitive," Sue Lambe said.

She says AIPP worked with stakeholders to pick a design spanning 1,225 feet.

The majority of it will be created by artist Nadir Tehrani.

"It will be vertical posts that are pre-cast concrete. The artist is proposing that they have integral color in five shades of blues and greens. With one face that would have a glass side," Lambe said.

The west side will include metal panels for gates and a proposed moving structure created by artist Ned Kahn.

"Kahn is an expert at using wind to animate his work. He would be using kinetic energy. No power would be needed at all," Lambe said.

So who is paying for this?

Austin Energy will chip in more than $300,000 from the revenue it makes. As for the $1.4 million? That will come from the sale of the Thomas Green Water Treatment Plant on Second Street, now being developed into apartments and office space.

Construction is scheduled for April 2014. It should be finished in 2016.

The city is working on a CMAR which guarantees the maximum price of the build. If the contractor goes over budget, it will be forced to pay the difference. If it goes under budget AIPP will look at adding more benches, canopies and additional planting or lighting.

By Christie PostDowntown Substation To Get Million Dollar Art Wall


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