Apple's plan to move popular fountain met with protest

Apple's plans for a new flagship store at Union Square may include removing a popular fountain.
May 30, 2013 9:10:40 PM PDT
A landmark fountain in San Francisco faces an uncertain future. Apple wants to build a new flagship store at Post and Stockton streets, but the popular fountain at that location isn't in the plans.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has decided to lease the store on Union Square now occupied by Levi's to Apple. Apple wants to make it its flagship store in San Francisco.

Apple's plans for the store stay true to the company's typical glass and metal design. Noticeably absent is the bronze San Francisco fountain by well-known artist Ruth Asawa.

Apple issued a statement Thursday saying, "Apple and the Hyatt have always intended to find the best possible location where it can live on, in the community when the city approves the project."

But San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said Thursday he likes the fountain right where it is and he didn't realize Apple's plans included removing it.

Hyatt, which owns the property, commissioned the piece back in 1969. It was completed in 1973. Shapes of animals, cars, buildings, people were made of dough, and put in wooden panels to be then cast into bronze.

Thursday, Asawa's daughter, Aiko Cuneo told ABC7 News the San Francisco fountain was a community effort.

"Over 250 people worked on it," she said. "People like Imogen Cunningham was a friend of Ruth's, anyone who stopped by the house would be asked if they wanted to make something for it and they had dough and ready and they would make something small."

While the family doesn't want to get involved in this controversy, Cuneo says it really belongs in that plaza on those steps.

"It had to be all engineered architecturally designed and the original pieces had to be put together in Ruth's backyard to make sure they were going to fit on the brick stairway so it's all custom fit and custom built so it can't go to any other staircase than this one right now," she said.


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