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Hamburg approves sculptures on Route 62 Artwork to demark village roundabouts

Two abstract and two traditional metal sculptures will grace the four roundabouts to be added in the Village of Hamburg as part of the Route 62 reconstruction project.

The Village Board reached the agreement at a special meeting Monday night and will submit sketches to the state Transportation Department, which must approve them from a safety point of view.

A statue of two waving girls would greet motorists entering the village at Center and Main streets.

At Main and Buffalo streets, a just-completed concept by sculptor Larry Griffis III would consist of an archway with water cascading down a glass wall in the center. The village seal will sit atop a granite mantel.

A work titled "Flaming Blossom," which reminds some of a flame and others of a tulip budding, would be installed at Legion Drive and Clark Street. A somewhat similar, but lighter, abstract piece, which Griffis titled "Sail Form," would be placed in the roundabout at Prospect and Buffalo streets.

During Monday's discussion, board members and the dozen people in the audience voiced little serious opposition.

The "vote" consisted of nods by the four trustees. Mayor Curt S. Herrmann was absent.

With the four works estimated to cost $150,000, Griffis said the village is getting a good deal. He noted that he recently sold a bronze sculpture for $90,000.

"I feel a lot of people will come out to look at these," he said.

The village won approval of an $800,000 federal "betterment" grant, which could cover some or all of the cost. But the state Transportation Department is seeking a corresponding deduction of $800,000 from its share of the $12 million project, according to Trustee Paul Gaughan. The village is fighting to keep the funds, he said.

Each sculpture will be about 12 feet tall and will be lighted at night. They will serve a practical purpose by making the roundabouts more visible to approaching motorists.

e-mail: ternst@buffnews.com

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