October, 2009 – St. Paul, MN – Travel to the intersection of University Avenue West and Fairview Avenue North in St. Paul, and you won’t necessarily be surprised by what you’ll see there. But you will be surprised by the size.
Located at the intersection, in front of Episcopal Homes, is a pair of white oak leaves. But not just your average, everyday leaves. These are giant, prehistoric-sized leaves suspended over a bus stop. The sculpture is the 2002 creation of local artist and metalsmith Marcia McEachron, and – in order to determine how to best support the massive structure – she partnered with Krech, O’Brien, Mueller and Associates.
KOMA structural engineer and principal Jim Krech, PE, said, “It was great to work with Marcia. She really had a nice understanding of the various forces that would interact with the sculpture – wind, snow, ice, rain – and that understanding led to a very collaborative process.”
Krech continued, “Securing the sculpture wasn’t necessarily a difficult project, but it was interesting. Any time we have the opportunity to work with something that is more than straightforward right angles, that is meant to inspire and – maybe – to surprise people, it adds a degree of interest.”