Two Eastlake Ave. readers wrote this week to say that one of Stacy Levy’s “Cornerstones” artworks, on the southeast corner of Eastlake Ave. E. and E. Howe St., had been damaged in last week’s sidewalk project.
Sadly, what they reported is true.
I stopped by today and photographed the piece, “Plagiotoma in Earthworms’ Gut.” The glass pieces in the work have been chipped and, in the case of the Eastlake Ave. street label, broken in two. The compass star has been removed and replaced incorrectly. It’s now 90 degrees clockwise from where it should be (the dot on the compass should point north, Levy says).
Check the photos to see how the piece has been damaged and how it looked when I photographed it in mid-August.
I wrote about the artwork, which was installed in 1997, earlier this month. Levy said that one of the “Cornerstones” pieces had been destroyed last year during sidewalk construction. She had recast the glass and replaced the piece. She wrote:
“The stones are made to be easily saw-cut out of the sidewalk before demolition of the concrete. But many companies like to cut corners and trash the cornerstones. Really a pity. The last time this happened the construction company was liable for the full cost of replacement.”
On the Howe Street piece, it’s the glass that has taken the brunt of the damage. The sandstone, which features the illustration of the plagiotoma, appears to be undamaged. The piece has alot of stray cement over it and needs to be cleaned.
I’ll forward this story to Stacy Levy and the Seattle Department of Transportation and let you know what I hear from them. It’s a shame to see one of Eastlake’s few pieces of public art being treated this way.