Tuesday, May 27, 2014

photo of the week: Kaiser Convention Center artwork

The Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center has been an Oakland landmark since it was built in 1914. It served as a makeshift hospital during the 1918 flu pandemic. It's been used for concerts (from Elvis to the Grateful Dead), science fiction conventions, roller derby tournaments, symphony performances and public speaking events (from Bill Clinton to the Dalai Lama). But it's been closed since 2006, so more recent Oakland residents may not know it well. Hopefully it will be put back into use sometime soon. In the meantime, go look at it, and check out the seven remarkable bas relief sculptures above each of the doorways on the north side. Featured here is one titled "Wealth of the Sea", featuring Poseidon, a walrus, horsefish, a seal, flying fish, and who knows what else. Turns out these curved surfaces make great sound reflectors and focusers, too.

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