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Gaines Street

Gaines Street has become a dynamic area of Tallahassee. Transformed from a run-down, blighted part of the city it has become one of Tallahassee’s most energized areas. It is appropriate that there be an element that embodies this dynamic quality and serves as both an icon and an identity for the Gaines Street experience. The most appropriate location for such an element is in the round-a-bout at Gaines Street and Woodward Ave for it is perceived as both a termination and origination point. The objectives of the design were as follows:-embody the energy of Gaines Street-be tall enough to be seen from several blocks away-remain open enough at the bottom so the vision of drivers are not obstructed-change in appearance as drivers pass by it, creating a dynamic visual experience-have two readings, one during the day and one at night-composed in such a manner that it would have an association with FSU yet not so literal that this would be the only reading. The sculpture is 20’ tall and 18’ in diameter at the top, composed of a stainless steel frame with stainless steel cables supporting dichroic glass triangular forms comprising 8 planes. The dichroic glass has a unique characteristic in that it changes colors when viewed or illuminated from different directions. Moreover, it also casts one color in one direction with transmitted light and reflects the complement of this color in the opposite direction with reflected light. These dichroic elements are a stylized form of a spearhead, establishing an association with FSU, though the form is not so literal that this is the only interpretation. In these ways the sculpture enhances and enriches the dynamic experience that is Gaines Street. It will also serve as a gateway for FSU and as an icon for both the university and Gaines Street.

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