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'Dangerous' Riverwest art installation to be taken down

Posted: 10:44 PM, Jul 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-27 03:44:59Z

A Riverwest art installation is too dangerous and will be taken down. County supervisors voted Thursday to take down "The Tip" in Gordon Park.

It was commissioned and designed by artist David Middlebrook in 2004. A windstorm in recent years took down a portion of the art, and it has been fenced off and considered dangerous ever since. 

The piece consists of two columns that meet over the entrance to the park, but only one was damaged by weather according to the artist.  

"To me, all you'd have to do is remove the basalt column and the rest could be left and we can make a decision later on, on how to deal with the other half," said Middlebrook. 

Middlebrook said he had been contacted months ago by insurance agents for the county on a fix but hadn't heard anything for a while.  He says he was willing to help fix it.

"I was willing to do it because I believe in public art, I believe in Milwaukee, I believed in that park," he said. "I really had a great time installing that piece, got to know a lot of people in Riverwest, it was a really important part of my life. I think of my work as my children. They've left home but they're still family."

County Supervisors voted to take down the art after a recommendation by engineers that it was unsafe. Calls to the County Parks Department weren't returned. There is no word on when the art will come down.