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Bartle Hall Sky Stations Analysis

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Bartle Hall Sky Stations
I grew up 85 miles northeast of Kansas City, Mo. in a small farming town. On the special occasion that we would get to go to Kansas City (the city) it was a very exciting thing for me. I’ll never forget the first time I got to drive by downtown Kansas City. Traveling south along I-29/I-35 and all of the sudden I looked up and saw these huge concrete pylons protruding through the skyline. These pylons were incredible to me but what really drew my interest was what was sitting on top of the pylons.
Downtown Kansas City was going through a revitalization stage in the early 90’s and part of that was the expansion of Bartle Hall, named after Harold Roe Bartle a two-term mayor in KC during the 1950’s and early 60’s. Bartle
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Fischer teamed up with a local Kansas City-based firm A. Zahner Company together they created and brought to life Fischer’s inspiration. The largest of the sculptures is 40 feet tall and 35 feet wide and weighing in at 24,000 pounds. In order to get the sculptures on top of the four 300 foot pylons, a special helicopter was needed. A Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane which is designed to lift heavy objects was used to lower the sculptures down.
The city of Kansas City, Mo. paid 1.2 million dollars for the four sculptures and other artwork from Fischer that is inside of Bartle Hall. Originally when the sculptures were set on top of the pylons for the whole world to see a controversy developed. People around the city were outraged that the city would spend 1.2 million dollars on sculptures that looked like hair curlers. 23 years later and it never fails that if I am with someone and we are in the city the conversation starts about what are those things and what do they do.
I’m 36 years old now and 22 years after I first laid eyes on these ‘Sky Stations’ I still feel the same way about the beautifully warm concrete pylons but am still trying to figure out exactly what is sitting on top of
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