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The city parking garage at Fourth and Jackson streets has sported a gap-toothed face since it opened in 2006, but a $115,769 donation approved Monday will fix the smile.
The parking garage originally was designed to have sets of stainless-steel screens along the face, one of which in each set would have extended out farther from the building’s face, said Todd Williams, the associate architect on the project. But because of a lack of money, the city decided at the time to omit the lone, standout screen in each set, while installing the rest in the sets.
That decision left odd metal brackets jutting from the side of the building, an eyesore for those who knew what was missing, Williams said.
“It leaves these gaping holes in the side of the garage and that really is not what you are supposed to do in parking garages,” Williams said.
Installing the missing screens would give the building a more flowing look, said Kelly Wilson, director for the Indiana University Center for Art and Design.
“I have been questioning those brackets for two years,” Wilson said. “I couldn’t figure it out until someone alerted me to what that was and it all made sense. I can imagine that what you might gain is an oscillation of the surface. You get both continuity and dynamic movement at the same time which is something you look for in urban street surfaces.”
Sarla Kalsi, former executive director of the Irwin-Sweeney-Miller Foundation, offered the city the donation to install 10 large screens to fill the gaps in the sets and four screens to be installed around the entrance. Columbus Redevelopment Commission accepted the donation from the remnants of ISMF funds at its Monday meeting, pending a letter from Kalsi outlining the gift. The commission and Kalsi also agreed to work out details of whether she would pay the contractors directly, or make the gift to the city, restricted to the sole purpose of installing the screens.
The screens will be installed by F.A. Wilhelm Construction, which was the lead contractor on the garage as it was being built. Jason King, senior project manager at Wilhelm, said he did not anticipate any alterations to the structure itself and the screens would be bolted on to the brackets.
He said the work would likely be finished by early next year.
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