New Cary fire station will feature art

aspecht@newsobserver.comFebruary 26, 2014 

— A custom-designed art piece honoring firefighters may adorn the town’s new fire station.

Cary plans to move Fire Station 2 next year from its location on Maynard Road to a new building on East Chatham Street.

Emergency responders at the station aren’t meeting the town’s response-time goals in its service area, which includes downtown, the Crossroads Plaza shopping center and through Holly Springs Road.

Cary estimates it will cost $8.1 million to acquire the site and design and build the station. The project is supported largely by funding from voter-approved bonds in 2012.

The town is also paying Alabama-based artist Deedee Morrison to design an installation at the new building.

The Cary Town Council included funding for art after hearing positive feedback about the stained glass integrated into Fire Station 8, which opened on Mills Park Drive last summer.

Morrison presented two designs to the Public Art Advisory Board on Feb. 19. She said she talked to firefighters and looked through old photos of firemen to find inspiration.

“Public art is the process of telling a story,” she said. “I wanted to have a piece for Cary that’s iconic and sustainable.”

One of her designs resembles a fire hose curling horizontally in the shape of a spring. The other resembles a set of ladders that would illuminate with up to 12 different color combinations.

Cary firefighters told Morrison they prefer the ladder option.

“They liked that it seemed to flow from the building,” she said. “If you drive by it, you’d immediately recognize that it’s a fire station.”

The advisory board agreed.

“The sculpture itself is really cool, but the lights will bring it to life and draw people’s eyes to it,” said April Wang, a representative of Cary’s Teen Council.

Some on the advisory board worried that children would try to climb the sculpture. The ladders in the sculpture will vary in height from 7 to 15 feet tall.

Morrison assured the group that she would design the sculpture so that the ladders would give the appearance of having steps without giving children a foothold.

The board voted unanimously to recommend the ladder sculpture to the Town Council. It’s unclear when the council will review the project.

“If the firefighters like the ladders, then I like the ladders,” said board member Marla Dorrel. “That’s ultimately who we’re honoring.”

Specht: 919-460-2608; Twitter: @AndySpecht

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