ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One of the biggest art sculptures the city’s ever commissioned is also one of the heaviest, and it may present a few challenges in the future.
The new “One Albuquerque” sculpture currently sitting at Civic Plaza stands more than ten feet tall in some parts and also weighs around 17,000 pounds.
The weight means the city will likely have to be particular about where it’s placed amidst its plans to move the sign around to varying city events.
The One Albuquerque sign was unveiled a week ago during the city’s watch party for the New Mexico United versus Minnesota United FC soccer match. Since then, the sign has become a magnet for picture-taking-people looking for a unique backdrop.
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller’s director of innovation and marketing, Carlos Contreras, hopes the sign is also inspiring to those who see it.
“One Albuquerque like, we’re all in this together to appreciate our city,” said Contreras. “This thing is just like a, ‘hey, remember this?’ plugin and let’s continue to get to work together.”
While the message may mean something different to everyone, most can agree that the sign’s size is enormous.
What was initially estimated as an around 8,000-pound fixture grew up to be around 17,000 pounds at its completion. The sign was fabricated by “More Than Gates,” an Albuquerque metal-working company.
“It is a little bit heavier than we anticipated, it still, however, is mobile and we plan to move it around a bit,” said Contreras.
The city will have to use a crane and a flatbed truck to move the sign in the future. They’ll also have to be careful about where the sculpture sits.
At 17,000 pounds, it probably can’t rest on Civic Plaza because there’s a parking garage underneath. Currently, the sign sits on Third Street in front of the Convention Center.
“The plan was never to put it smack dab in the middle, anyway,” said Contreras. “I think being as big as it is, being as heavy as it is, is actually kind of important, it makes it a little bit safer to be quite honest in this space, with weather and otherwise around it.”
In the meantime, the city is eyeing other temporary spots for the sign, including the corner of Third Street and Tijeras and in Balloon Fiesta Park in October.
“It’s big and it’s beautiful and it should be where large crowds of people can appreciate it,” said Contreras.
The city is planning on leaving the “One Albuquerque” sign at Civic Plaza through the end of September so it can serve as a backdrop during the Summerfest and SOMOS ABQ events.
KRQE News 13 learned Wednesday the city is already looking into its current placement, however, over concerns about it blocking some area of the direct pathway into the Convention Center.
The sculpture cost $44,000 of funds from the city’s National Senior Games Organizing Committee and the Lodger’s Tax.