Helter Shelter

Posted on
Robbie Clark

A revitalized Gardenside Plaza bus stop and two other Art in Motion projects are in the works

It’s been over a year since the last Art in Motion bus shelter hit the streets – the “Bluegrass” stop on Newtown Pike – but three new projects around Lexington will begin to take shape in the coming months that will continue the organization’s goal of bringing functional public art to the local streetscape.

Gardenside Plaza


An archival photograph of the Gardenside Plaza bus shelter. IMAGE PROVIDED BY ART IN MOTION

The iconic Gardenside Plaza bus shelter on Alexandria Drive could soon be getting a considerable facelift if a large chuck of the money needed for the restoration is approved by council in the coming weeks.

The project would be a partnership between Art in Motion and the office of 11th District councilmember Peggy Henson, who represents the area. Art in Motion is a local organization that constructs artistic, often whimsical, bus shelters in conjunction with Lextran and area artists; the organization has helped construct shelters on Euclid Avenue, Versailles Road, Elm Tree Lane and other locations.

The Gardenside Plaza bus shelter would be the first time Art in Motion has helped restore an existing structure. All previous projects saw completely new fixtures installed. The shelter was constructed around 1959, and the tall, beige brick structure, with its stainless steel lettering was a design anomaly when it was built, and remains so today.

“This is really the forerunner for Art in Motion,” Hurt said. “What makes this structure unique, it’s mid-century modern architecture, and a lot of us are just beginning to realize that is unique and historic. It’s the new historic.”

Part of the restoration will include patching up the concrete, striping and reapplying paint, as well as replacing the neon tubing with LED lights behind the lettering. The project also provides for a ceramic glass mosaic mural inside the shelter.

In total, the project is estimated to cost around $45,000, with $33,500 of funding coming from the Urban County Council if approved. The remainder of the cost would come from LexTran, local nonprofit Lexington Directions, nearby neighborhood residents, and the Gardenside Shopping Center property owners.

Councilmember Peggy Henson said the project has been in discussion for over three years. She said there was some resistance toward the project on the council, but it gained more support among her colleagues when she reduced the amount of money the council would fund.

Henson said the restoration of the Gardenside Plaza bus shelter has a lot of potential to bring some public art to an area that has very little, and maybe even instill some neighborhood pride.

About Robbie Clark

Robbie Clark is the editor-in-chief of Chevy Chaser and Southsider magazines. He can be contacted at (859) 266-6537.
Copyright 2014 Smiley Pete Publishing. All rights reserved.