Tuesday, December 30, 2008


So maybe you noticed the huge hole accross the street from us at Bunny Gunner. Most peoples' reactions are, hey weren't there buildings there a week ago? or what are they going to build there. It is frustrating to answer the later question. It goes something like this, 260 something condos, but not for another 4 years because of the collapse of the housing market. Lately my answer has been, who knows, maybe they're going to sell it. Either way, we're stuck with an empty whole that for the time being, we are enjoying. Yes we like it, the "WATT hole" gives us a beautiful clear view of the train and the snow capped mountains. How nice it would be if they didn't build anything but instead made it a park. Wait, there might be some truth to that comment. The locals, including myself are pushing for some sort of sculpture garden. Even if it is temporary and is behind a fence. Here is my rendition of what would be really ideal:

Some of the other colonists have other ideas about the "WATT hole". This is a take from local correspondent A.S. Ashley. (Pomona Arts Colonists does not necessarily agree with or endorse the following ideas or oppinions). Knock 'em dead Ash...

by A.S. Ashley

The folks from WATT, the makers of the nice vacant lot pit-pond along 2nd Street in the heart of Pomona’s Arts Colony, are finally fashioning a wrought iron fence to go around the property.

Good news, right?

Maybe not, I heard that plywood panels are going to be attached to the fence. It is rumored the panels will be painted by artists, but I don’t know by who or of what. No one is telling anybody anything and the Arts Colony is being left in the lurch.

The problems posed by the panels are: having anything attached to the fence is subject to vandalism; the local police are against having anything block their view of the lot; and I doubt anyone in the Arts Colony is going to be pleased with the area fenced in with plywood, whether it be painted by artists or not. It will look "trashy" in no time.

I have spoken with Watt’s representative to the DPOA (Downtown Pomona Owners Association), as well as some of the financial backers of Watt’s project in Downtown Pomona, about a proposal for a sculpture garden.

Money seems to be their primary concern.

With the WATT/Artisan project on indefinite hold due to the real estate downward trend (after demolishing two blocks of buildings leaving the Arts Colony looking blighted), local businesses, galleries, and artist residents have come away feeling abandoned and betrayed.

The downtown community is not exactly sympathetic to Watt's professed financial woes, especially when one group of Pomona land owners, the Tessier family, has shown tremendous courage in recent months revitalizing downtown with such additions as the PHO Vi restaurant, the Brick Nightclub, renovation of the Opera Garage, the incoming Aladdin Jr. restaurant, and of course, the Granddaddy of them all, The Fox Theater.

At least the Tessier's can't be accused of not believing and investing in the future of downtown Pomona. In contrast, the Watt Co. is now being talked about among locals as cheap and dispassionate.

As far as the sculpture garden, we feel this proposal could fit the bill while waiting for any construction to begin. The garden could serve as a huge attraction for the downtown area, and restore some credibility to the Watt Co.

The city can provide the fill for the pit (the City Manager has already indicated this); the sculptures and security would be sponsored by David Armstrong and AMOCA in setting up the rotating venue, and we have the support of the local community and civic leaders.

We in the colony would like to help put Watt’s best (webbed) foot forward towards our downtown revitalization efforts.

The DPOA (Downtown Pomona Owners Association) is having their board meeting on the fourth Thursday of January, where WATT will give a presentation on the plan for the fence surrounding the vacant lot.

It will be open to the public, and we encourage all interested parties to be in attendance.

Meeting Date: Thursday, Jan 22, 2009
5:30 P.M.

Meeting Location: California Bank and Trust
255 W. Mission Blvd., Pomona, CA 91766

Of course, I intend to voice my concerns about the vacant lot at the next City Council and Planning Commission meetings.

A. S. Ashley
PACA (Pomona Arts Colony Association) Chair


Ren said...

Am 100% behind you Ashley lets go get them I will bring the tar and feathers then we can put them on a mule send them out of town.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, uh, hmmm....whack! Next idea....

A. S. Ashley said...

Going by the fence today, I noticed the clips for the plywood panels are welded onto the OUTSIDE of the wrought iron. Which means, the panels will effective obscure the attractive new fencing almost entirely.
Nice move.

Sey said...

Count me behind you too! I don't know about being able to make it, but whether I'm there in the flesh or spirit, you got my vote. What a wonderful idea of a sculpture garden. I'm so glad you act on your words! Don't like the passion die.



Anonymous said...

Fence: bad idea. Fill in the hole and plant a lawn. Enough already.

Some former city manager thought it a good idea to clear buildings south of the medical school, but all we have from that project, 20 years later, are vacant lots behind chain link fences. Here we go again.

I like the sculpture garden, but please replace the Voulkos with a Soldner. I'd rather see work of the 'local boy', thank you very much.

I need to learn more about WATT. Not a Tessier enterprise? How little I know. Who bought out Dahms?

A. S. Ashley said...

Dear Anonymous,

Our proposal for the sculpture garden includes displaying local talent, as well as world renown artists.

And good ol' Bob was bought out by the Watt Company (Google them to find out more about the development Co.), and no, not a Tessier enterprise.


anonymous again said...

Aha, I get it now. Bob's final flip off to Pomona. I was incredulous that the T's would raze history, considering the nice work they have done so far. Instead, another newcomer brings us more fenced vacant lots and fewer historical structures. :o

Even if the sculpture garden doesn't happen, I sure hope the hole is filled and a lawn is planted.

Why didn't they simply build the condos on already vacant lots? Sure is some screwed up planning going on there.

Wish I'd found all these blogs before the election.