KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An impressive feat temporarily changed the city skyline today. One of the sky station sculptures atop Bartle Hall has been removed for repair.
A huge amount of planning went into moving the 24 thousand pound sculpture with a helicopter crane early this morning. The whole job took only about 30 minutes.
A crack in the eastern-most sculpture was noticed last fall when the city decided to light the sculptures blue in honor of the Royals World Series win. Since then, the city has been planning every aspect of today’s event.
Crews were prepared to spend several hours dismantling the steel and aluminum piece of art that has perched above the city for 22 years. They orchestrated every detail with military precision.
“It was an amazing feat of engineering, logistics and coordination,” said Steff Hedenkamp, communications specialist for Kansas City, Mo.
Last fall workers noticed a crack in the structure that hadn’t been there during an inspection just six months before. Eric Bosch, the city architect said, they knew if left unattended, it could get worse.
“We feel like water filled up in the tubes and when lighting hit it, it burst. We will have engineers go in and do a complete analysis and find out what happened and how to prevent it from happening again,” said Bosch.
As a helicopter crane hoovered over the sculpture, crews from Building Erection Services tethered to the pillar pulled pins to disengaged the top section. The two pieces were then air-lifted separately.
The helicopter lowered the pieces into a parking lot near Bartle Hall where the arms were meticulously removed by the same company that originally helped artist R.M. Fischer fabricate them. The sculpture will be inspected, repaired and then put back in place in September.