Despite delays, artist and pedestrians are pleased to see sculpture hoisted in place

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: JORDAN IMLAH - Metal sculptor Devin Field and Lanphere Construction crew members work to secure Field's sculpture, 'Three Creeks, One Will' to its base in the South Plaza of The Round at Beaverton Central late on Tuesday afternoon.It’s not often a renowned sculptor is seen tapping steel bolts in a circle with a sledgehammer, but that’s ultimately what it took for Devin Laurence Field to secure his 38-foot-tall sculpture to its concrete base in The Round at Beaverton Central’s South Plaza.

The late arrival of a previously engaged hydraulic crane delayed the scheduled installation of Field’s steel creation, “Three Creeks One Will,” by several hours on Tuesday. Those who stuck around or returned later in the afternoon were treated to a rare sight as the crane hoisted the hulking steel tube from its horizontal position, slowly carried it about 50 feet to the west and gingerly lowered it to the 16-bolt array designed to hold it in place.

Blending in with the construction crew as he guided the installation process, Field picked up his trusty sledgehammer when the 24-inch bolts — only 4 inches of which are exposed — turned out to be slightly out of line with the holes they were meant to meet on the sculpture’s base.

“That was probably the trickiest part,” Field nonchalantly explained a few minutes after tightening the final hex nut on the base. “These things get knocked around, so a lot of times you have to massage the bolts a bit.”

Details create delays

Scheduling snafus and minor tweaks aside, the installation adds a striking new visual element to the South Plaza, which will serve as the entrance to the City Hall after it’s relocated next summer to The Round’s South Office Building.

Upon completion by early December, the $487,000 project will include a grove of trees, outdoor gathering spaces and granite markers representing Beaverton’s seven sister cities.

Jerry Jones, general manager of Lanphere Construction & Development, the project’s lead contractor, said although construction — originally slated for September completion — has “gone on longer than expected,” city officials are cooperating with the company on an extended timeline.

“Mainly it’s because we wanted to make the right changes in some key areas,” he noted, such as the color finish on the concrete surface as well as on the granite inserts, which await installation. “Knowing this will be the front porch of City Hall, we wanted to pay attention to those details. Some of these things are taking more time to produce than we anticipated.”

Creating a flow

Field, who worked on the project for about three months, said he pursued his own vision to transform the imposing, 7-ton cylinder into a spiraling aqua blue- and-green interpretation of the three creeks — Beaverton, Hall and Wessenger — that converge in the vicinity of The Round mixed-use complex just north of Southwest Canyon Road.

To Field’s mild chagrin, the LED-powered flood lights designed to illuminate the structure’s interior and exterior won’t likely be activated for several days, if not weeks.

“I was hoping they would be on tonight,” he said as the sun began to set. “I think the piece is going to be most spectacular at night.”

Jack Lavell, who lives within a mile or so of The Round, said he liked what he saw when the sculpture went vertical around 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

“This is long overdue,” he said of the plaza improvements. “Here, it’s a dead zone. Probably with this place, I’ll be coming down here more often. I think it will help everything flow a little better.”

Jayne Scott, the city’s senior program manager for arts and culture, indicated the time she waited for the sculpture’s installation on Tuesday was well spent.

“It’s stunning,” she said of “Three Creeks, One Will,” which she helped coordinate along with members of the Beaverton Arts Commission. “I think this will have the impact we hoped it will have. Just seeing people hop off the MAX train and take pictures is impressive.”

Field, who is set to begin a sculpture for a new Interstate 5 bridge near Salem, said he won’t feel signed off on “Three Creeks” until the dedication being planned for next spring or summer.

“It’s good to get the pieces put in place,” he said. “Now there’s room in my studio to start the next project.”

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