WHAT IS THE PROJECT?
The project consists of several components. The first component is the capital component for the design and construction of a pair of 45-foot sculptures to be seen from a distance traveling on I-25. The two sculptures will be a gateway feature on the top of the Dillon Drive bridge just north of town. The sculptures will be installed in the center of the east and west traffic roundabouts on the bridge. Secondly, there is a program component which is an online based showcase for creativity and innovation submitted by the community. The project contributors will also be recognized here. The third component will be the construction of small replica sculptures located in Downtown and accessible by people who can’t stop at the main sculptures on Dillon Drive bridge. Finally, a stewardship fund will be established to take care of the maintenance of the Gateway sculpture such as, graffiti and lighting.
WHY GATEWAY TO THE SOUTHWEST?
The Committee has recommended the theme of “Gateway to the Southwest” for the monumental gateway sculptures. This new theme or brand will give Pueblo a unique identity along the Interstate 25 corridor and within the State of Colorado. The new theme/brand signifies Pueblo as being a destination with distinct cultural and geographical differences from other parts of our state.
The Arkansas River was the northern border of the Republic of Mexico and the disputed area claimed by Texas as shown on the map below of the Concession of Mexico in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The land purchased by the U.S. Government is known as the Great Southwest and lies south and west of Pueblo. In 1848 when the Treaty was signed, El Pueblo Trading Post had been an active settlement on the banks of the Arkansas River already for six years. Pueblo’s historic location on the Arkansas River once an international border of Mexico and United States has contributed to its southwest culture that makes up the present-day City of Pueblo. The semi-arid desert landscape and geography around Pueblo is more like that of New Mexico and the southwest than it is of the high plains region of our neighbors to the north. The Gateway will emphasize Pueblo’s position along the southern I-25 corridor, the Front Range, association with southwest cities of Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque and as a gateway to the Southwest region of the Country.