Tuesday, May 15, 2001

One-of-a-kind benches find a home

Five artworks installed at convention center

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Six months after their completion, the benches that make up Covington's Millennium Mosaic have found a temporary home.

        On Monday, crews from Baxter Precast Inc. of Hamilton removed the 3,000-pound benches from a garage at the Covington Community Center and hauled them to the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

        By afternoon, the community artwork featuring 130 Covington landmarks had been installed in the convention center's entrance off RiverCenter Boulevard.

        “I'm sorry to see them go, but I'm glad they're going to be out where people can see them,” said Dan Petronio, associate director of the Covington Community Center.

        Originally, the five benches were slated for Park Place Square, a $3 million park planned for an area just south of the Roebling Suspension Bridge.

        However, plans for the park were put on hold after the Kenton Fiscal Court announced in December that it would expand the nearby jail at 303 Court St.

        For now, county officials have delayed action on a possible jail expansion while they consider an alternative site in Peaselburg.

        The concrete benches, representing Covington residents' love for their community and neighborhoods, were made by attaching pieces of colorful glass in much the same way that tiles are placed on a wall.

        As the benches were removed from a flatbed truck by forklift Monday, several onlookers noted the irony in one of the messages on a bench: “Will there be a place for me?”

        “Everybody who sees them is really excited,” said Neil Nelson, one of about 220 volunteers who helped create the 3-foot-by-3-foot cubed benches last fall.

        “When the community center had their open house (last year), everybody was in the garage looking at the benches.”


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