Metro will begin up to three months of construction at the intersection of 4th and Colorado on Monday to install a new sculpture and the work will have temporary impacts on travel through the area.
“Starting July 2 from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily and for the next three months, Metro will be implementing streetscape enhancements at Santa Monica Station along 4th St south of Colorado Ave on Metro property,” said the construction announcement. “During the first two months of construction, pedestrian sidewalk access in front of the construction area, as well as the northbound right traffic lane, will have intermittent closures. For pedestrian access, please use the west side sidewalk.”
The closures will facilitate installation of the sculpture “Saint Monica’s Tears” by artist Walter Hood.
Hood is one of eight artists commissioned to create new artwork for the final phase of the Expo line connecting Culver City to Downtown Santa Monica. He was the chair of the Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning department at UC Berkeley and is a Goldman Sachs Design Fellow for the Smithsonian. His award-winning work has been displayed at numerous museums and public spaces.
According to Metro, the Santa Monica work is influenced by Santa Monica’s history and geography.
“Saint Monica is known as the ‘weeping saint,’ as she was said to have shed tears every night over her son Augustine’s hedonistic lifestyle,” said the project description. “Father Juan Crespi thought of her eyes when he first saw a pair of sacred springs, named Kuruvungna by the local Tongva tribe, at what is now the border of Santa Monica and West Los Angeles. Water has shaped the geology of Santa Monica, eroding the sandstone at the coastline. The artwork will reference both the geological and cultural history of Santa Monica through the use of sandstone and hand-formed glass that recall Saint Monica, Kuruvungna and the Palisades.”
In his statement about the work, Hood said most locals don’t engage with the geology of the area and his work aims to combine the physical and cultural history of the area.
The installation will create intermittent closures of the sidewalk adjacent to the Metro station and the right lane of 4th Street as it approaches Colorado. Drivers will still have access to the left lane and pedestrians are asked to use the west side of the street during construction. The work will create construction noise from tools like cranes, lifts and drills but train service will not be impacted.