Artless Choice

As St. Petersburg has evolved from parochial to hip, there has been a world-class constant: The downtown waterfront. Refreshingly, aesthetically, open and green. Natural beauty protected and preserved. It rivals the best waterfront vistas in the, yes, world.

Now the city is well on its way to putting up a massive (more than 300-feet long), $3 million art piece–a Janet Echelman net sculpture–on the St. Petersburg waterfront. Thin line between colorful, signature art and sacrilegious, tacky clutter. Very thin.

Unsolicited advice: Don’t do it. That waterfront is uniquely special. For more than a century, St. Pete has made it a sacrosanct priority–no matter how many developers salivated over it. Now snob appeal–or public art cachet–has it primed for an out of scale sculpture to highlight and help market the new Pier District.

St. Pete and Mayor Rick Kriseman: You have a priceless asset in your uncompromised, peerless waterfront. Keep it that way.

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