BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A monolith-style gateway is expected to welcome people into Bloomington starting in the fall.
According to a news release from the city of Bloomington, the city’s bicentennial gateway project will bring the new structure on the north end of Miller-Showers Park, located at 100 W. 17th St. This project was funded as part of the celebration of Bloomington’s bicentennial and will cost more than $1.1 million.
The gateway is around 40′ tall and is made of powder-coated aluminum, the release said. Officials said the structure will display the city’s name with a customizable color palette of LED lights.
Officials said the structure’s flower bud and vein structural appearance is “a nod to the origins” of the city’s name, which came about after settlers were impressed by the “haven of blooms” they encountered in 1818. The design also was intended to reflect the extensive green infrastructure and native plantings at the park.
“The bicentennial gateway will proudly welcome residents and visitors to Bloomington and also give them a final image before they leave,” Mayor John Hamilton said in the release. “Bringing design that reflects the story of our city and the ideas of residents is the perfect way to bookend people’s time in Bloomington. It represents both a nod to our past and a gift to the future.”
Before the installation of the gateway, the release said site improvements will be made, including repaving a part of the Gourley Pike crossover, improving the pedestrian refuge and updating curb ramps. 18 trees will also be removed and will be replaced with 26 new, native trees.
“Through research and conversations with the public, our design team translated the city’s story into a compelling palette of materials and complementary forms,” REA landscape architect Kevin Sweetland said in the release. “The gateway relies on a combination of natural materials, light, and dramatic industrial elements to highlight the resiliency of Bloomington’s people and natural environment.”