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What's Hot This December
Posted on November 22, 2016 at 7:03AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Holiday celebrations, special events around town and a number of museum exhibits are all in store for December. Check out our roundup of things to do below, then take a look at ...
What's Hot This Holiday Season: Your Guide to Columbia, SC Festivities
Posted on November 2, 2016 at 9:12AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Get ready to give thanks, gather with family and friends and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday season is officially upon us and we have everything you need to know about ...
What's Hot This Halloweekend: Tricks, Treats and Terrors
Posted on October 28, 2016 at 6:00AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Halloween is here, so gather up some ghosts and goblins and get witchy this weekend at a number of events and activities going on around town! Read on for our roundup below, then take a look at ...
What's Hot This Weekend: Walk for Life, Bridge Dinner and Halloween Fun
Posted on October 21, 2016 at 7:39AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Gear up for an action-packed weekend full of events, concerts, food and more! Continue reading for our roundup below, then look through our calendar of events for everything that's going ...
What's Hot This Weekend: SC State Fair, Restaurant Week and Oktoberfests
Posted on October 14, 2016 at 6:18AM by Dayna Cantelmi
What do funnel cakes, frights and flying monkeys have in common? You can experience all of these and more this weekend! Read on for our roundup below, then take a look at our calendar of ...
What's Hot This Weekend: Festivals, Oz and Gamecock Football
Posted on September 28, 2016 at 7:18AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Autumn is in the air and a weekend full of fun events and activities are in store! Continue reading for our roundup below, then check out our calendar of events for all that's going on in ...
What's Hot This Weekend: Okra, Fall Festivals and Country Music
Posted on September 23, 2016 at 6:04AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Summer may be over, but there's still a ton of things to do this weekend! Read on for our roundup below, then take a look at our calendar of events for all that's happening in Columbia, ...
What's Hot This Weekend: Jubilee, Greek Festival and Gamecock Football
Posted on September 16, 2016 at 7:11AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Football, festivals and fitness, oh my! This weekend has all the fixin's to get you ready for fall. Continue reading for our roundup below, then peruse our calendar of events for ...

Busted Plug Plaza by Blue Sky

  • AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, Taylor Street
  • (Between Marion and Bull Streets)
  • Columbia, SC 29201
  • Visit Website

Unveiled February 18, 2001

"Busted Plug Plaza" is among Sky's most widely-recognized and impressive works. Four stories in height and weighing 675,000 pounds, it is located on Taylor St., between Marion and Bull Sts., in the same parking lot (AgFirst Farm Credit Bank) as Sky's acclaimed "Tunnelvision."

Sky proposed the sculpture to the city of Columbia in 1999, and spent the next year designing and directing the project. After architectural drafting, review approval and permitting, off-site component fabrication and on-site construction took 14 months to complete. For the entire duration of the preparation and assembly process, the project was veiled under an enormous grey tarp, leaving the residents of downtown Columbia tantalized with wonder, curiosity and perhaps even fear.

Over 75 people contributed their talents to the realization of this project. Sky's design-build team consisted of architect Robert J. Probst, structural engineer Jimmy Chao (Chao and Associates), and general contractor Jimmy Copeland (J.F. Copeland Construction Inc.). For a complete list of contributors, click here. (198 kb PDF)

"Busted Plug Plaza" was initially conceived by Sky circa 1980 as "Downtown Fountain," a pyramidal cement structure adorned with various colorful fire plugs indigenous to Main St. which were soon to be scrapped by the city. Fittingly, the sculpture would have been located at the intersection of Washington St. and Main St., where a fountain was tentatively scheduled to replace a circular island. Unfortunately, this project never made it past the planning phase, and the island was simply replaced with inlaid brick.

In 1998, Sky began drawing up designs for a similar project, which he called "Rainbow Dome." Instead of a pyramidal structure, the sculpture would have been comprised of several concentric concrete platforms, with the fire plugs arranged symmetrically about the ledges, spouting water that would flow into a circular trench. Eventually, this idea evolved into the much larger construction that became "Busted Plug Plaza." However, Sky originally hoped to see it complete by 2000, calling the gargantuan fire hydrant "Y2K."

Strangely enough, two other cities in North America claim to house the "world's largest fire hydrant," however, "Busted Plug Plaza" is taller than both structures by over 10 feet and heavier by many thousands of pounds. It entered the design phase much sooner than the projects in Manitoba and Beaumont, and includes a fountain that pumps an enormous volume of water 24 hours / day. In fact, Sky's sculpture was conceived to be so gigantic that it appears to have torn a telephone line in the process of being 'busted!'

For reasons of public safety, "Busted Plug Plaza" was designed such that it could withstand a direct hit from a tornado.

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