Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Scottsdale Installs Water Mark

'Water Mark'

Today the City of Scottsdale used cranes to place giant angular metal horses (do they remind anyone else of the stealth fighter?) into place just north of Indian Bend Rd, just west of Hayden. I rode over there after work to see the results. With the rebar under their forelegs, it looks like there's more cement work ahead before 'Water Mark' by Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan, will be complete.

My Foreleg: It Requires Support

But whatever work remains, in my book, they won't really be fully realized until the first big flood, when their major design feature (other than being huge, shiny, angular metal horses sitting on the front of an imposing water control structure, of course) will come into play. You see, in flood time, when water fills the Indian Bend wash and ruins the plans of golfers for a few days, these babies will shoot water out of their mouths, becoming aqua equus regia or something like that. I'm not positive, but water may also shoot out of their noses and eyes, too. Unless, of course, some tragic miscalculation in hydrological engineering results in their heads blowing off and becoming large, angular, horse head-shaped stealth missiles. "But, we didn't expect a 500 year flood for at least another 489 years! We designed them to withstand the probable, not the possible." (OK, for the record: I neither hope for, or expect, their heads to blow off with excessive water pressure) (However, I will make sure to be there on the first major flood, with video camera)

 Water-Disgorging Horses, With Bike Path (note the leg progression sequence)

'Water Mark', freshly installed, is freakishly wonderful, both up close and at a distance. I can only wonder expectantly what they will look like when the white water is running here. Then they will make gargoyles round the planet proud. In my equus dreams, the water gushing out their metal mouths will make a roaring sound previously unheard, the water from their eyes will form jets that shoot over the bridge, and their noses will pour steam like a thoroughbred at the end of a long run on a cold morning. In water they'll come alive. Get up. Go ride.


  1. Boy, you got the coolest stuff there! Need a shot of the water shooting out!
    When you mentioned the exploding head, I was reminded of the Dodge Fountain in Detroit by Isamu Noguchi. When they first tested it, the water pressure was so great it blew one of the granite blocks off it's base!
    Hope the horses keep their heads!

  2. Scottsdale has a One Percent for the Arts ordinance which really has really helped to improve the looks of the place. By the mid-80s, the city was starting to look like a monster of strip-mall expansion. Then they built the Civic Center Mall, a no-cars park with the Arts Center and water features. The water doesn't run through this wash very often, but I'll try to be there w/camera next time. PS the horses will be lit at night, I read.


Please feel free to comment here, almost anything goes, except for obvious spam or blatantly illegal or objectionable material. Spammers may be subject to public ridicule, scorn, or outright shaming, and the companies represented in spam shall earn disrepute and ire for each occurrence.