Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Liftoff of Rocket Gateway Opening

The Heights Recreation Center in Richardson celebrated its Grand Opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday night. Thank you, Richardson taxpayers, for approving the 2010 bond package. Because of your willingness to reinvest in our city, Richardson will remain a great city to live, work and play.

The most visually striking feature of the new Heights Recreation Center is the old, beloved playground rocket ship now repurposed into the sculpture, "Rocket Gateway." I have to admit it far exceeds my original low expectations. I was wrong. I actually like it. I especially like how its crescent shape evokes an Islamic influence, celebrating the religious diversity in Richardson. ;-)


Mark Steger said...

On a Facebook thread, someone reports that "the artist found that the metal from the playground rocket was too brittle and could not be worked into the new art." If true, that means the new art is not the repurposed playground rocket, but only inspired by that.

mccalpin said...

Having sat through all the council meetings that discussed the rocket ship, it was always my understanding that the original rocket couldn't be re-used. I don't remember about the metal being too brittle, but certainly the design was such that you would literally have to tear it apart to use any of it. The second and third floors of the ship, for example, had poor adult access, in case a child got into trouble up there; there were sharp edges all around; and I imagine that the distance between the ribs was enough to make child-safety experts hyperventilate. Of course, as a child, I had no problem with all this, but then I rode 5 miles alone each way to grade school, something that might get my parents arrested nowadays ;-).

Oh, and I imagine that the metal got scaldingly hot in the sun. They have really improved the technology on making metal in playsets so that 3rd degree burns are not the order of the day...go over to Mimosa Park in the Reservation and feel the metal stuff on the jungle gyms and whatnot that the City just installed...even in direct sunlight, they're just warm, not searing...