It's been almost five years since design firm All That is Solid won the right to transform the entrance to Sunset Junction into a public art plaza. BLOOMRS, a giant iron saddle sculpture, was to be the centerpiece of a newly envisioned median next door to the Jiffy Lube at the intersection of Sunset and Santa Monica Boulevards. The designers at All That is Solid walked away with a win and some prize money that day, but they also got almost half a decade worth of bureaucratic headaches. Over the years, the project has been stalled over funding and promised but failed to materialize, but according to Eastsider LA, Sunset Junction might finally be getting its Saddle.
In February 2015, it looked as though installation of the Sunset Junction Saddle was imminent. The initial $100,000 budget had been boosted to $125,000, but the LA City Council seemed willing to pay for it as part of a $1.725 million streetscape improvement project. Problem is, every time the city released a budget for street improvements in Sunset Junction, funding for BLOOMRS was never included. Sunset Junction waited, then waited some more. A year went by. The median was torn up and replaced with a landscaped plaza, but still no Saddle.
So, what's behind the delay? Looks like a case of red tape. According to a spokesman for Council District 13, the designers are having trouble "complying with city guidelines" while still staying within their $125,000 budget. Saddle designer Heather McGuinn contends that they have always remained on budget despite the city imposing "other requirements that have boosted labor costs."
McGuinn remains upbeat about the future of the BLOOMRS installation. Even though she's been hit with additional labor costs due to complying with city guidelines, she describes the costs as "nothing unsurmountable." McGuinn will be working closely with the Bureau of Street Services and Council District 13 to iron out the cost and compliance issues. If all goes well, Sunset Junction might finally get it's saddle in 2016.
· Will the Silver Lake saddle ever get built? [Eastsider LA]
· Giant Sunset Junction Saddle is Finally Happening This Year [Curbed LA]
· Silver Lake's Giant Saddle Plaza Finally Moving Forward [Curbed LA]
· This Giant Steel Saddle Will Be Jiffy Lube's Sunset Junction Neighbor [Curbed LA]