Though he didn't live to see the thing become a reality, longtime SF developer and landlord Angelo Sangiacomo commissioned a grand, gleaming, polished steel statue by artist Lawrence Argent called "Venus" that will be, unquestionably, the most notable part of the hulking, bland 1900-unit rental complex called Trinity Place that's nearing completion at Market and 8th Streets. While adding some much needed housing stock to the center of the city, Sangiacomo's multi-decade project to redevelop the former Trinity Plaza into this enormous housing complex has not won much praise or garnered much excitement, but as the Chronicle reports, there will at least be a public plaza at the center of its four towers, in the middle of which will be this twisting statue that will stand barely shorter than the Statue of Liberty.
Sangiacomo passed away in December 2015, not long after he and his company were called out by the city attorney for possibly illegally renting out a block of units that were supposed to be designated below-market-rate to a short-term-rental outfit. The Trinity Place complex had, rather famously, been at the center of a battle in the last decade that was won by progressives on the Board of Supervisors when Sangiacomo agreed to make more than a quarter of the units, 500 in total, below market rate, with 360 of those rent-controlled to replace the rent-controlled units in the former Trinity Plaza that were demolished.
The 91-year-old developer apparently told Argent he wanted "a landmark," and that was all, though he initially fought the city's requirement that he spend one percent of his construction costs on public art.
The public won't get to see "Venus" (which cost $1.5 million) or the $3.5 million plaza around it until Trinity Place opens in Spring 2017, and the sculpture is likely to stay behind scaffolding until then, though it's expected to be fully assembled and in place later this month. Argent, who also created this giant leaping bunny at a winery in Napa, tells the Chron, "What I tried to create was a plaza that felt like it had already been there and the buildings were built around it," and the plaza will also include a dove sculpture and a "marble quarry wall."
"Venus" will become the tallest piece of public art in the city, however it will be eclipsed within a couple of years, by 2019, by this 110-foot-tall twisty tree branch by artist Roxy Paine that will be installed outside the Yerba Buena station of the Central Subway.
You also won't be able to see "Venus" from Market Street, since the "forbidding megablock" as John King once called it will offer only a couple of peek-a-boo glimpses between its towers. But apparently all the shadows cast on it will be a blessing because, in direct sun, the thing could potentially be blinding for everyone.
Previously: Sangiacomo And Trinity Properties Subpeonaed By City In Allegedly Shady Rentals Case