About the Work
A streetscape-improvement and street-resurfacing project was completed in October 2014 in the Larchmere Boulevard commercial district. The project generated funds, through the City of Cleveland's Public Art Program, for an artist to contribute to the street improvements. A call for artists, put together by LAND studio with input from neighborhood representatives and city staff, requested designs for benches, bike racks, or other street furniture.
The city's Public Art Committee selected a design for 25 bike racks in the form of five historical chair-back shapes submitted by Greater Cleveland artist Tom Hubbard. Besides putting a decorative spin on a utilitarian streetscape element, the designs reference the street's numerous antiques-related businesses. The bike racks, unique to the community, provide an alternative to what would otherwise appear as a stock item in the streetscape.
The bike racks contribute noticeably to the overall streetscape project, which has beautified the public realm along the street. By deemphasizing the street's role as a commuting corridor and improving pedestrian accessibility, the project has enhanced the experience of pedestrians and bicyclists in the neighborhood.
The bike racks were fabricated by IMAX Industries of Painesville.
The public art component of the Larchmere streetscape project was funded by the City of Cleveland's Public Art Program, which requires that major capital improvements undertaken by the city set aside an amount equal to 1.5% of the capital project's construction budget toward public art. The public art funds are then sometimes supplemented by other funds. In this project, for example, the required public art funds were used to cover artist-selection, design, and engineering costs, and the fabrication and installation of the bike racks were paid for out of project construction funds.
The City of Shaker Heights, which contains a part of the Larchmere commercial district, was a partner in this project.