Connie Hoffman, Town Manager Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
Lauderdale-By-The-Sea undertook the redevelopment of a four block area on Commercial Boulevard, a major entrance and thoroughfare, with the purpose of enlivening a large retail area. Public art was included as an attractive element. An 18 foot entryway sculpture with a MIMO stye base and a series of four 8 foot. sculptures were commissioned to designate entry to the town and enhance 4 retail plaza areas. They are in complete FDOT compliance, engineered for hurricane wind load resistance, and relate thematically to the unique qualities of the community.
The goals of the project were to enliven the town’s over-all image with art; to attract more visitors to the town and specifically to the retail area in the vicinity of the redevelopment; to further identify qualities inherent to the town; and to differentiate the town from the surrounding urban sprawl. Town Manager, Connie Hoffman says it best: “Artist Laura Fisher Huck was a delight to work with as she quickly grasped the essence of our community and how to celebrate it through sculpture. We originally just commissioned one sculpture, but she presented such appealing alternatives that we became committed to finding the funds to commission four additional sculptures. Her work was instrumental in the Town receiving the best project of the year award from the Florida Redevelopment Association.”
The project was initiated by Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Town Manager, Connie Hoffman with artist Laura Fisher Huck, Atelier Huck Fisher, based on Ms. Hoffman's personal experience of other projects by the artist. Hugh Johnson, R.L.A., principal of Architectural Alliance, acted as principal designer of the redevelopment and worked closely with the artist in regard to location, pedestal design, and basic dimensional parameters. This team reviewed, and occasionally rejected, all initial drafts. The designs then passed through an approval process in public meetings of the Town Council with then Mayor Roseanne Minnet presiding. Fabrication was done in Riviera Beach, FL under the watchful and inventive eye of Tom Sterling, President, Westgate Sheet Metal. Murray Bryntesen, P.E., of Bryntesen Engineering was brought on to inspect and certify wind load capacity. These professionals have now become a permanent part of a design support team for the artist. Special mention must be made of scuba instructor, Rene Bobadilla, who got the artist under the water to see that fabulous world and endless source of inspiration.
Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is a small, lively community with a low-rise profile and turtle nesting responsibilities situated on the south coast of Florida. The coral reef theme was selected because most, if not all, of the residents live there because of the ocean. The location of the town is unique because it is one of the few places where the coral reef can be accessed from the beach; a treasure indeed. The project, with brass educational plaques to describe some of the intimacies of life on a coral reef, is a gesture toward helping neighbors get to know each other better.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
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