Tower Square looking northeast

This is a rendering of Tower Square looking northeast with artwork to be created by artist Jun Kaneko.

The city and artist Jun Kaneko have signed a $1.1 million contract for the artwork Kaneko has designed for Civic Plaza, a new public space being created at 13th and P streets.

Even without a specific contract, Kaneko started work on the five-story, multi-colored, lighted glass tower. He met in September with the German company that will fabricate the glass, according to Lynn Johnson, director of the Parks and Recreation Department.

There were no contentious issues, just a lot of back and forth between attorneys for the city and the artist, Johnson said.

The $1.1 million includes design and construction, including a steel framework and the hand-blown, fused glass panels for the five story tower, Johnson said.

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The tower will be lit from the inside with LED lights.

Johnson anticipates bidding on the other work for the plaza in February, with construction beginning in early spring. Installation of the tower should begin in mid-summer and be finished in August, he said.

Private donations are being solicited for the $3.3 million total cost for the plaza, including a $600,000 maintenance endowment. About 75 percent of the money has been raised, he said. 

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Nancy Hicks reports on Lincoln city government, but she’s been following the leaders of local and state government for more than 40 years.

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