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The Power Plant “Scar” Commemorated In Art

Chula Vista Bayfront SculpturePerhaps you’ve already taken my art tour of the South Bay. Photographer Manuel Cavada in National City along with the Lowriders and ARTS: A Reason To Survive. San Ysidro has The Front and IB has William Glen Crooks. There’s the Graffiti Artists at Las Playas and the South Bayfront Artists in Chula Vista.

My tour continues with a little gem I discovered while wandering along the Chula Vista Bayfront. It’s a recent addition that stands by the water banks.

On February 2, 2013, the South Bay Power Plant was demolished. The power plant provided energy for the San Diego region for over 50 years, it was demolished to make way for the future Chula Vista Bayfront development. Although the 165-foot-tall structure was once described as one “that scars and disfigures the Chula Vista Bayfront” is supposed to be replaced with a 24-acre park, a 14-acre RV park, and a mixed-use business development — leave it to an artists to commemorate blight.

South Bay Power Plant Turned SculpturePowering the Arts by Michael Leaf commemorates both the history of the power plant and its removal to make way for future economic growth and recreational facilities at the Bayfront.

As explained on the placard next to the piece, “The artwork incorporates salvaged artifacts from the power plant debris field, including the large cylinder featured in the sculpture, which is visible in the power plant photo above. The adjacent bench is made of two halves of a rotor from one of the plant’s steam turbines. The rotating easel is provided for members of the public to use to create their own artworks on site. “

To learn a lot more about the three-piece sculpture, check out Allison Sampite-Montecalvo’s Union-Tribune articles.

Right next to it, the Board of Port Commissioners and their Environmental Advisory Committee have funded a nesting platform for Osprey. These year-round residents of San Diego Bay are interesting creatures to watch. Again, a nice placard aptly tells who they are:

“This medium-large raptor is particularly well adapted to diving for fish, with reversible outer toes, closable nostrils to keep out water during dives, and backwards facing scales on the talons which act as barbs to help hold its catch. Ospreys have dense, oily feathers to repel water and quickly regain flight. Ospreys locate fish from the air, often hovering up to 100 feet above the water, prior to plunging feet-first, 3 feet into the water.”

Art and habitat conversation both along the same little waterfront. You can also picnic here and there’s usually plenty of parking in this location.

Chula Vista Bayfront Osprey

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