Seibert Circle plan draws mixed reviews |

Seibert Circle plan draws mixed reviews

Scott N. Miller
Special to the DailyAn artists rendering shows the proposed sculpture in Seibert Circle.

VAIL – A new design for a sculpture at the top of Bridge Street may not be perfect, but it’s better than what it will replace. That was the general opinion of people who participated in a review session at Vail’s town hall Tuesday. If built as currently proposed, the four-sided sculpture will be roughly 18 feet tall, will have some type of waterfall and bronze panels on each side that depict part of the valley’s history.It was the slices of history that bothered Gilda Kaplan.”We’ve already got a sculpture for the 10th Mountain Division,” she said. She also did not like the depiction of a skier when Vail’s gondola still ran out of the village.”I’d like to see more choices for the panels,” said Joan Norris, an artist who lives in Vail. “It might be fun to change them out from time to time.”Axel Wilhelmsen of East Vail liked the design, mostly, but said the stone faces of the sculpture should blend more naturally with the street.

The work is already straining its budget. Current estimates put the cost at $1.3 million, up from a $1.1 million estimate earlier this year. The town’s share of the money will come from the real estate transfer tax. Vail Resorts may contribute as much as $500,000, if company brass approves of the design.While there were quibbles with specifics, most people agreed the proposed sculpture is an improvement over what it will replace. In the late 1990s, the town spent about $800,000 on a pink granite abstract by sculptor Jesus Moroles. That work has been taken out of the square and is now in storage. The town and Moroles are now talking about where to put the work.However the new sculpture turns out, the design has passed muster with Pete Seibert’s son, Pete Jr.”I don’t want to be the last word on this, but I like it,” Seibert said. Seibert joined the town committee that looked at different options for art in the plaza primarily because he knew his late father never liked the Moroles piece.”I don’t know how you’re ever going to get agreement from everyone,” Seibert said. “But I know there’s going to be a lot more discussion over the (panels).”

While most people at the open house seemed to like at least parts of the proposed sculpture, there remains some dissent. In comments written on a large paper pad in the room, Kathy Langenwalter wrote:”It feels contrived. Please stop and reconsider.”

Where: The top of Bridge StreetWhy: New art to replace now-removed abstract sculptureWhen: Work starts this fall

Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 613, or Daily, Vail Colorado

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