Brower Hatcher, Wellspring and Oculus, 2007. Stainless steel rods, water jets, mirrored disks, and columns, view of works at Bayliss Park.

Public Art in Council Bluffs

Abraham Lincoln visited Council Bluffs in 1859 and peered across the broad Missouri River valley toward America’s fast-changing frontier. After becoming president, he designated the bustling trade center as the eastern terminus of the first transcontinental railway, and it would go on to become the nation’s fifth largest rail center. Later overshadowed by Omaha, its much larger and better-known urban sibling across the river to the west, Council Bluffs suffered economic stagnation and population declines in the 1970s and ’80s—reputed, locally at least, as much for its strip clubs and late-night drinking hours as anything else. In recent years, things have begun to change dramatically. In 2007, Google announced that it was building a $600 million data center in Council Bluffs, citing the area’s energy infrastructure, abundant land, and available workforce. The facility not only provided much-needed jobs, it also gave the city’s ego a big shot in the arm. …see the entire article in the print version of May’s Sculpture magazine.