The community in Terre Haute, Indiana, had a vision—to reconnect their downtown with the river that runs through it. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of local leaders, a non-profit arts organization, one artist and one of the leading natural stone suppliers in North America, that vision became a reality.
The project, Turn to the River, is an ambitious mission to connect the downtown with the Wabash Riverfront area through public art, new pathways and rethinking the use of spaces. The project includes a remodeled plaza and a spectacular black granite sculpture. The sculpture, created by artist Brad Goldberg, is positioned between the Vigo County Courthouse and the Terre Haute City Hall. It incorporates the beautiful and versatile Mesabi Black® granite provided by Coldspring and includes a carved abstraction of the Wabash River Valley and pools in which the water falls at both ends of the artwork.
Goldberg envisioned the design as a comprehensive public space encompassing a water sculpture, trees, lighting, paving and seating and is part of the overall vision to refocus on the Wabash River. Quiet in nature, the sculpture creates the gentle sound of moving water and, together with the accompanying landscape elements, provides a sense of calm in a place whose purpose might otherwise be stressful. Elegance and a sense of impeccable artisanship come together to form a place that is born from the City of Terre Haute and its river.
The water sculpture and its integral plaza, designed with paver blocks, are the first phase of the project and function as a catalyst for a future promenade. Future phases will include the development of a promenade with an event space and an elevated overlook that will provide beautiful views of a picturesque portion of the Wabash River.
“The significance of the natural elements and the flowing water that have been so important to the development of the community played a key role in the vision for this project,” says Jason Kron, Director of Sales for Coldspring. “And granite, as a natural stone material, is something that lasts forever—just like the river—which makes it the appropriate medium to use when creating a sculpture of this significance.”
Mesabi Black Granite
Goldberg chose Mesabi Black granite for the sculpture for several reasons. Dark-colored stones make a striking visual when used in conjunction with water by enriching the qualities of both the water and the stone. In addition, as with all granite, the benefit of working with a stone like Mesabi Black is that when you apply sandblasting and other finished textures to the stone, a beautiful contrast in light and dark tones is created. Sandblasting the stone also allows for different textures of the stone to come out, resulting in an enhanced tactile sensory experience for visitors.
Lastly, the fountain that was previously in this location was in extreme disrepair due to Terre Haute’s hard water conditions. Goldberg knew he needed to choose a material for the sculpture that would withstand the hard water and turned to Mesabi Black granite. “I thought igneous rock would be the optimal solution in a hard water environment and I love Mesabi Black,” says Goldberg. “I don’t design around the material but consider the location to determine the color that might be used. By using Mesabi Black granite, we were able to beautifully integrate the sculpture with the limestone buildings that surround it.”
Partners with a Shared Vision
The partnership between Coldspring and Goldberg has been invaluable to the company. “Brad’s vision and all that he brings to the table constantly push us as a natural stone supplier and manufacturer to step up our game and think about quarrying and manufacturing in a different light,” says Kron. “He brings a creative element to our work, helping us to continue to delight our customers.”
Goldberg appreciates his 40-plus-year collaboration with Coldspring. “Coldspring’s extremely skilled workmanship and friendly people have made all the difference in my career.”
To see more beautiful creations by Brad Goldberg and Coldspring, check out these projects:
To learn more about Coldspring’s Mesabi Black and other natural stones or to request a natural stone sample, please contact your local Coldspring representative today.
Learn more about the project, from inception to installation, in our video featuring Brad J. Goldberg and Coldspring.
Client: Wabash Valley Art Spaces
Artist: Brad J. Goldberg
Installer: Progressive Construction Services, Inc
Concrete Foundation: Smock Fansler