Lake Placid/North Elba Community Development Commission

Heritage Sculpture

The 2014 Comprehensive Plan calls for expanding the destination marketing currently employed to tap into the growing areas of gastronomic, historic, and art tourism.  In 2019 the Development Commission worked with Cornell University to determine methods for incorporating more art into public life. (Report attached)  The Village of Lake Placid is currently planning a major construction project on Main Street as part of the preparation for the University Games (Current design proposal attached).  This provides an opportunity to utilize open spaces created by the construction project for the display of art.   One goal of this project would be to design displays that would essentially create an open -air gallery along Main Street.

The Main Street Upgrade is also an opportunity to create a major installation.  Lake Placid is one of only three communities to have held two Winter Olympic Games. Local sculptor Naj Wikoff has designed a large-scale stainless-steel sculpture to honor that achievement.  The community would like to see this installed before the upcoming World University Games (February 2023).

The sculpture, with the working title Rings, will consist of two polished rings, one leaning on the other symbolizing the 1980 Games being built on the legacy on the 1932 Games. The sculpture is planned to be between 32 and 38 ft in height, high enough to impart an awe that people often experience when an Olympian/Olympic team achieves a win in a stellar fashion. The outside of the rings, polished to a mirror finish, will reflect nature along with people standing next to it, and the inside will be similarly polished but with a gold tint reflecting the aspirations of Olympic athletes. The edges would feature the colors of the Olympic Rings; bright blue, yellow, black, green and red representing the five continents of the world.

The Lake Placid Appearance Committee has considered three sites for the placement of this installation, each with their own benefits and challenges.  Those sites are in One Main Street Park, across from the Post Office in the center of the Village, and on a hillside near that site off Olympic Drive.   At this point the Appearance Committee is mainly focused on placing the sculpture at One Main Street Park.  An enclosed catchment basin will be installed at that location as part of the Main Street.  This site will also host a number of refurbished underground utility services.  As of now it is the preferred site because it is nearest Mirror Lake and would provide a balance to a potential sculpture being planned for a renovated Olympic Center.

One task of the engineering group will be to work with the artist to determine the appropriate height and siting of the sculpture for each of the three setting.  After that is accomplished the group would create engineered plans and renderings regarding the siting, grading, foundation, and location of amenities such as sidewalks, benches, etc for each of the three sites.   The final public presentation will be used to help determine the final location of the installation and to seek bids from fabricators.  It will also be used to solicit funding to cover the construction and installation costs.

This design team worked with the sculptor, Naj Wycoff, and selected members of the Appearance Committee. Their project report (below) was presented to representatives of the Appearance Committee, the Arts Alliance, and the Development Commission on August 31, 2020. The Development Commission will be in contact with each of those groups as they recommend an implementation strategy.

Sculpture Description

Final Report: March 2020

Project Presentation: August 30, 2020

Video “Walk Around”