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The Presidio’s Andy Goldsworthy “Spire” Sculpture Can Stay

Spire was damaged in a fire, but it’s still structurally sound, so it can stay in place
By - posted 2/10/2021 No Comment

Sadly last June, Andy Goldsworthy’s 100-foot-tall wooden sculpture in The Presidio was damaged by fire.

Thankfully, The Presidio just shared some good news. After being evaluated by The Presidio Trust’s own forester, a structural engineer and wood specialist, found the Spire to be stable, so it will be able to remain in place.

The trails around Spire are now open, but the post and cable fence around its base will remain to deter climbing, so the art piece can be enjoyed for as long as possible.

Related Story: Suspected Arson Fire Damages SF’s “Spire” in The Presidio

History of Andy Goldsworthy & Spire

Renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy began his relationship with the Presidio when he first visited in 2006. As he discovered the Presidio’s historic forest, architecture, and vistas, he became fascinated with the interplay of city and nature, people and place, the built environment and wild open spaces. Goldsworthy has explored this complexity through four art installations – Spire, Wood Line, Tree Fall, and Earth Wall – created here between 2008 and 2014.

Spire was Goldsworthy’s first Presidio installation. The idea was sparked in 2006 when he visited the Presidio for the first time, learning about the park’s historic forest and the Trust’s effort to revitalize it for future generations. Two years later, he returned to create Spire. Working with the Presidio Trust forestry crew, he selected 37 large Monterey cypress trunks from the declining trees felled at the site and meticulously fastened them together. Spire is 15 feet wide at its base and stretches 100 feet into the sky. It not only references the architecture of nearby trees but also buildings visible from the site, including the Transamerica Pyramid and church spires. The sculpture is fated to fade into the forest as young cypress trees planted at its base ultimately grow to obscure the piece – like the old forest welcoming the new.

The Presidio is now home to the largest collection of his works on public view in North America. The works, enjoyed by thousands of people each year, build on a long tradition of art within parks. They are fundamentally about place, derived from materials found here and designed to allow viewers to experience the familiar in a new way. Goldsworthy’s installations can be visited individually or enjoyed together via a three-mile hiking loop along the Presidio’s trail network.

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