Octavia Blvd. Kaleidoscopic Art To Be Removed For Repairs

The metal kaleidoscopes along the center of Octavia Street will be removed next week for repair and maintenance.

The public art project, Ghinlon/Transcope, was installed in 2007 by artist Po Shu Wang, San Francisco Arts Commission spokesperson Kate Patterson said.

As we reported in 2012, the stainless steel lookouts symbolize a turning point in Hayes Valley after the 1989 Loma Pieta earthquake destroyed the elevated freeway that used to run through the neighborhood.

Po Shu’s installation brought the the newly opened space and busy traffic corridor together by providing an innovative way to combine them visually.

Photo: Ryan Curran White/Hoodline

The Arts Commission is contracting with SF Art Conservation to temporarily remove the kaleidoscopes, repair the internal lenses, conduct overall cleaning, and reinstall them with additional security measures to prevent theft, Patterson said.

The contractor will take each kaleidoscope apart to determine which components can simply be replaced or repaired, and what needs to be re-fabricated, she added. 

The repairs are estimated to cost $20,000, but that may change depending on the condition of the scopes, Patterson said. It will be paid for out of the city's general fund, which includes capital dollars for maintenance and repairs on city property, she said.

Photo provided by SFAC

The project is in the commission’s Civic Art Collection, and the repairs are consistent with methods required to care for those installations. The maintenance work will also follow guidelines established by the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Work, Patterson said.

Removal is planned to start on August 15, and the end date will depend on the scale of the necessary repairs. An updated timeline will be available after the contractors have completed their investigation of the kaleidoscopes’ current condition.

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Octavia st kaleidoscopic art to be removed for repairs