Saturday May 28th 2022

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Posts Tagged ‘Touchstone Plaza’

Touchstone Plaza at Peavey Park “Bridges” Generations

Touchstone Plaza at Peavey Park “Bridges” Generations

By Robert Albee Imagine a public art project that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and is promptly neglected””no, make that abandoned””by the very community that commissioned the work in the first place!. That”'s the legacy of Touchstone Plaza, located on the southwest corner of Chicago Avenue and East Franklin Avenue in Peavey Park. I never knew there was a plaque with a fabulous poem and community challenge called “Thrones” by Louis Alemayahu. Over the years, I”'ve heard friends declare the mosaics to be hideous and a blight to the neighborhood. Some even wanting it moved or bulldozed into oblivion””all 88,000 pounds of concrete that makes up the mosaic-tiled “Thrones.” A group of Ventura Village volunteers led by residents Jim Cook, Dee Henry Williams and me showed up recently with a public address system and a hand-held microphone and offered it to anybody who”'d speak or sing. No advertising or public notice, just the three of us and some sound equipment on a 97 degree day. In the next two hours, this abandoned corner that earned Peavey Park the distinction of being the most crime-ridden park in Minnesota came alive to the cadence of voices””mostly African American who talked their sorrows and joys, their salvations and challenges for anybody to listen. (more…)

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