Needle in a Haystack

With a lack of fanfare, Andy Goldsworthy’s latest work has risen in the Presidio woods near the golf course.
Whereas it appears from my pictures that it is nestled in lush woodlands, this is really just the fruits of my efforts attacking it from as many angles as I could.
In reality the site is still fenced off and sad looking. The remnants of felled cyprus trees are in evidence all over the clearing.
Nearby are a collection of little sculptures presumably created from the detritus. The work of Goldsworthy himself, passing the time? The inspiration of the construction crew on their break or dogwalkers passing through?
The Spire is built of the trunks of forty cypress trees, bundled together and reinforced with steel.
The Presidio website claims that the pines and cypress in the area, which were planted by soldiers over a hundred years ago, are “declining” and needed to be removed. The Spire was created with the trees felled on-site.
While I read today an article in the Chronicle stating that people living near Arguello Gate “began to notice recently a strange protrusion in the sky,” I don’t know how that can be. I walked up Arguello all the way from Geary and couldn’t see it until I had passed the golf course parking lot. My pictures turned out to be pretty deceptive when it comes to giving a sense of scale: The Spire is actually dwarfed by the trees in the nearby wood.
The site is nestled in a curve of the road on Washington Blvd. The real test of success for the piece will be whether it succeeds in getting tourists parked at Inspiration Point’s magnificent view to turn their backs to the vista to get some shots of the spire. Indeed, depending on how the reforestation goes, it is likely that the piece will disappear into the surrounding woods.
Even now standing relatively alone in the recently cleared area, surrounded by earth moving equipment, it would be easy to miss as drivers crane their necks in the opposite direction to take in the emerging cityscape on a clear day.


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