Mountain View sculpture may cross the border

Architecture board considers plan to move Ginnever piece to Palo Alto

A sculpture by artist Charles Ginnever currently located at Mayfield Mall site in Mountain View could be shifted to Palo Alto as the site is redeveloped. A Palo Alto board is scheduled to discuss the matter on Thursday.

"Untitled (In Homage to my Father)," a large, angular steel sculpture, was commissioned by Hewlett-Packard in 1985. It is currently installed at HP's former Mayfield site on San Antonio Road. The site is slated to become housing as part of a Toll Brothers development project, which straddles the Palo Alto-Mountain View border.

The project's landscape architect has proposed moving the Ginnever piece to a planned grassy recreation area on the Palo Alto side of the development, which will contain 45 multi-family townhouse and stacked-flat units. The artwork will be the topic of a Thursday study session by Palo Alto's architectural review board.

The sculpture was not included in the original plans, said architectural review board liaison Russ Reich, so the board will need to weigh in on "the appropriateness of the placement." If the board agrees with the proposed relocation of the piece, it would then become a part of the development agreement sent on to Palo Alto's planning and transportation commission and city council for approval.

The sculpture is included in a guide to city and corporate-owned public art in Mountain View, French said. San Mateo-born Ginnever also has pieces at Stanford University and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Because the Mountain View piece remains privately owned, its placement does not require the input of the city's public art commission, Reich said.

The Architectural Review Board will meet at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in the Palo Alto council chambers, 250 Hamilton Ave.


Posted by P., a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Call me a philistine, but this sculpture has always seemed to me to lack any serious creative or evocative essence. It's a little striking because it's large and imposing, but that's all the emotion I can get from it on a good day, when I try.

It's not bad. The area has plenty of bad sculpture. Web Link Web Link

It's just not good. Palo Alto can keep it as far as I'm concerned. I'd rather have a solar panel on a pole in its place, or a windmill hooked in to the local electric grid supplying power.

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Apr 2, 2009 at 12:39 am

I'm quite comfortable in giving Mtn View's second-hand art to the culturally challenged.

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 2, 2009 at 11:26 am

Solar panels on a pole do resemble metal, angular, modern-art. As expensive as solar cells are, they are cheaper than the "art" pieces strewn about the Bay Area. Maybe we could get an NEA grant to put up some solar art.

Posted by Mt. Loman, a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm

If there is an international financial crisis because house prices are falling because there is too much housing built, why is the city so beholden to developers that they keep building more? When the State has to raise regressive sales tax?

Why don't we use that NEA grant to see who can write the best initiative to get the developers up off their knees and out from under the Councils' diases?

Posted by in agreement, a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm

The word is "daises" but you're right. Government at different levels is grossly dysfunctional and uncoordinated. Maybe initiative action is all we have left after the legislators have proven that they don't have what it takes to address the basic needs of the community.

Posted by rr, a resident of another community
on Apr 2, 2009 at 5:52 pm

DO NOT shove that atrocious piece of art into Palo Alto. We have enough ugly going on over here.
Keep the damn thing, or scrap it. Better yet, send it COD back to the artist that dumped it here.

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