2017 Day Trip: Batavia, Illinois / Public Art on William J. Donovan Bridge / Wilson Street Bridge.

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Public Art on William J. Donovan Bridge, aka Wilson Street Bridge.

William J. Donovan bridge is the only bridge in Batavia over Fox River.  The current Wilson Street Bridge, or Donovan Bridge, is the 3rd generation of the bridge and was built between 2007 and 2008. The bridge it replaced stood since 1911, which replaced the original structure built in the mid-1800’s. As the only bridge in Batavia, the Donovan Bridge is an important piece in local architectural heritage. In 1911, its design was considered quite modern for its day, having even been featured on the cover of an Illinois Engineering Journal shortly after its construction. But over years, it was showing signs of distress. The new bridge was completed in 2007-08.  In 2008, there was official dedication of the new Wilson Street bridge.  It was renamed as the  William J. Donovan bridge after  Monsignor William J Donovan  [1885-1987], who served the Holy Cross Parish for about 36 years, from 1929 until his retirement in 1967.

During the planning phases of the project, the city of Batavia established several key objectives:  provide an aesthetically pleasing replacement structure; complement the history and civic pride of Batavia;  provide connections to the Fox River including stairs; add river observation outlooks;  include pedestrian paths below the bridge; enhance the area around the bridge including the river walks, bike path, and river viewing area;  enhance the downtown area as a focal point for furthering Batavia’s downtown development plans.

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When the Donovan Street Bridge project was completed in 2007, the design included four piers, each with a location designated for four works of art corresponding to the categories of “Nature”, “History”, “Science” and “Art”.

Two sculptures, “Nature’s Sounds of Harmony” by Kai Schulte and “A Look Back” by Oscar Leon and Jessica LoPresti have been permanently installed. Two more sculptures have been selected. These are “Fractal Limits” by Bruce White to represent Science ,and “Spintronic” by Nicole Beck to represent Art.

Four sculptures with themes: Nature History, Science and Art.
Nature / Nature’s Sound of Harmony – by Kai Schulte
History / A Look Back – by Oscar Leon and Jessica LoPresti
Science /  Fractal Limits – by Bruce White
Art / Spintronic – by Nicole Beck

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Nature's Sound of Harmony - by Kai Schulte

Nature’s Sound of Harmony – by Kai Schulte

 

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Nature’s Sound of Harmony – by Kai Schulte

Nature’s Sound of Harmony was chosen as the “nature” component of the group of sculptures to grace the William J. Donovan Bridge.
It represents the value the community places upon the beautiful world around you.

For more images, click here..

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A Look Back - by Oscar Leon and Jessica LoPresti

A Look Back – by Oscar Leon and Jessica LoPresti

 

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A Look Back – by Oscar Leon and Jessica LoPresti

A Look Back was chosen as the History component of the sculpture to grace the William J. Donovan bridge.
It acknowledges that an accurate respectful view of Batavia’s past will aid the community in shaping it’s own future.

A Potawatomi mstands on the bank of the Fox River, with its underlying limestone. As a “keeper of the Fire”, caring for sacred campfire is an important responsibility. He faces east, from which comes life and new beginninbgs, unaware of the magnitude of changes coming to this region. Out of his sights rises a windmill, a symbol of Batavia’s move from an agrarian economy to one characterized by manufacturing and later, commerce heavily reliant on the use of computers and World Wide Web, which also had its beginnings here.

For more images, click here..

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Bulldogs Unleashed, Batavia.

Bulldogs Unleashed, Batavia.

 

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The pedestal for two more sculptures –  “Fractal Limits” by Bruce White to represent Science, and “Spintronic” by Nicole Beck to represent Art – are currently occupied by the bulldog sculptures. The bulldogs are relic of 2011 Art Project “Bulldog Unleashed” on the lines of “Cows on Parade” in Chicago.

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Bulldogs Unleashed, Batavia.

Bulldogs Unleashed, Batavia.

 

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Spintronic - by Nicole Beck

Spintronic – by Nicole Beck

 

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UPDATE: July 7, 2017, Spintronic by Nicole Beck has been installed.. click here..

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Related Links:

My Vacation: Exploring the Prairie State of Illinois.. click here..
2017 Exploring Home State Illinois, through Public Art.. click here..

My Vacations Photo Gallery.. click here..
Vacation: USA / Illinois.. click here..
Vacation: USA.. click here..
Vacation: USA.. click here..
Vacation: UK.. click here..
Vacation: India.. click here..
UNESCO World Heritage Site.. click here..
Home: Public Art in Chicago.. .. click here..

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