$100,000 Fort Worth art project consists of 3 mini, 'simple' houses on piers

$100k for three mini-homes artwork

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Fort Worth City Council has given the final green light to move ahead on a costly public arts project that is made up of three mini 'houses' supported by piers and stilts.

The $100,000-plus art installation will stand at the southeast corner of Precinct line Road and Trinity Boulevard. It's expected to be erected by next spring.

Andra Beatty, a local realtor who keeps tabs on the city's public arts spending, says she isn't sure the price tag is worth it.

"I applaud them for their uniqueness, but it's just an incredible amount of money to spend with public art money," said Beatty.

According to city documents, the installation's "...three simple 'house' structures will be built of square tubular steel, powder coated for long term durability."  Project manager Anne Allen said the home-like designs are roughly four-by-four feet, and will sit anywhere from 10 to 14 feet high atop the piers.

"There is a lot of detail," she said. "One will have a ceramic frit that is fused into double layers of glass, so it's resistant to breakage, very colorful, and she's pulling imagery from historical maps of the area."

Allen says neighbors offered input on the design, by Austin-based artist Sally Weber, over the past couple of years.

This week, the council approved the final $85,000 for the project, so construction could begin. More than 15 grand was previously approved for its development.

The funding comes from an old bond approved by voters more than a decade ago.

Allen said it should cover everything from design to assembly to installation.

"From fabrication, to transportation, installation, lighting of the art work," she said.

But Beatty says some citizens, including some on the city council, are raising more and more questions about the art council's direction, including the long-delayed sign project that was supposed to be installed along I-30. 

She thinks something of a lower cost would be a better fit at the intersection, which consists of a fire station, gas station, strip mall, and oak trees.

"It's public art. It's paid for by taxpayers, and it does need to have a cost that is considerable to the design we're getting," she said. 

The Precinct Line project is hardly the city's costliest art venture of late. 

In late 2105, just shy of one million dollars was spent on the 'Wind Roundabout' kinetic sculpture on Panther Island. 

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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