Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Three Columns

Downtown Honolulu's Fort St. is a pedestrian-only street for much of its length. Some of the businesses along it cater to tourists, but it's right next to the downtown financial district so there are a lot of banks and buisinesses serving downtown office workers. The Bank of Hawaii tower has an entrance on Fort St., and (like the main Bishop St. entrance) there's a big 1970s sculpture parked out in front of the building. This is Three Columns, by the Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro. Its Smithsonian database entry describes it:

Dates:  1970.
  1)Grey concrete with anodized steel bands, 
  2)polished bronze, 
  3)stainless steel with pale gold and chrome.
Dimensions:  3 columns. Tallest elements: H. 16 ft.
  Three columns combining intricate, machine-like surfaces with smooth, polished surfaces.

The entry also notes that, like Kepaakala (Sun Disc) on the other side of the building, it was commissioned by the tower's condominium owners association and not the bank.

I ran an interesting post from 2010 about restoration work being done on Three Columns. Apparently the columns weren't designed for the Hawaiian climate, and took quite a beating under the tropical climate and salt air. (I would guess that back in 1970 all "international" outdoor art was designed for New York City weather, not the tropics.) The columns seem shiny enough now, so I imagine the restoration went well and these count as "after" photos. Though I haven't come across any photos of them from 1970 from comparison, so it's hard to be sure.

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