RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A pair of ordinary power poles that have long stood over the hills of Dorothea Dix Park will soon blossom into enormous sunflowers.
This innovative foray into “creative infrastructure” comes courtesy of a collaboration between Dix Park Conservancy, Duke Energy, and Raleigh-based artist Thomas Sayre.
The two existing poles stand on the east side of Dix Park on Lake Wheeler Road, according to a news release.
Starting in fall 2024, Duke Energy engineers will dismantle and replace them with the steel sunflowers that Sayre is now creating with Duke Energy engineers and fabricators.
The new poles are currently projected to be installed and placed into service by November of next year. They will frame the future entrance to the park’s expansive Gipson Play Plaza, the release stated.
Private donations will fund the cost of the poles. The work will not impact Duke Energy customer bills.
The two new sunflower towers will rise to a height of 73 feet. Perched atop each will be a steel ring, signifying the capitulum — or head — of the flower. Power lines will run through the center of these capitulum rings.
“This inspired project exemplifies both the creativity we aspire to foster at Dix Park and the spirit of community and collaboration that makes the park possible,” says Janet Cowell, CEO of Dix Park Conservancy, which is recruiting private donors to fund the endeavor.
The projected cost of the towers is $2.5 million and DPC has already raised a significant portion of that amount. People and organizations interested in supporting the towers and/or other projects should contact Rob Maddrey, vice president of development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.