The cranes of Port Miami are hard to miss. They stand as a towering beacon to the city's cargo trade, greeting MacArthur Causeway drivers like steel monsters straight out of Star Wars.
They're pretty much metal eyesores, but local artist Peter Hammar wants to transform the lofty mechanical birds into an art project. He has proposed to paint the cranes pink and light 'em up so they look like Florida's favorite bird -- the flamingo.
Of course, as is too often the case, the issue is not without controversy.
Hammar told Cultist he sent in a proposal to the port director in January. He said he didn't hear back, and when he was finally able to get in touch with someone more than six weeks later, they told him they'd already had the idea but weren't sure it would be implemented due to cost.
Hammar says his plan could make it happen while keeping costs minimal (including a modest artist fee and credit). Still, the port folks told him their logo designer had come up with the idea, and he didn't request any recompense. In other words, someone else suggested it first -- and for free.
Specifically, Hammar's proposal reads:
The idea is to paint the cranes pink in honor of flamingos, easily recognized and Florida associated birds living in the everglades. At night the cranes should be light up (sic) and maybe emphasized with nature friendly fluorescent light tubes covered within pink plexi-glas tubes to keep costs down.
Courtesy of Peter Hammar and © 2012 Miami-Dade County
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Either way, the idea of 200-foot flamingos lining the waterfront is intriguing indeed.
What do you think? Yea or nay on flamingo way?