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Late Winter 2018:

A Random Sampling of Public Art in the NE Heights
The Carlisle Returns: Nob Hill's Greenest Condos Have Been Rebuilt

     "Armstrong," above, is an urban gorilla made from recycled tires & stands sentry in front of the MetroABQ Solid Waste Department on Edith Blvd. Created by artist Sarah Perry, and entitled Route 66 Gorilla, Armstrong can be found just south of Comanche Blvd, almost straddling the border between the NE Heights & the North Valley.   
Public Art in The MetroABQ & Beyond
     The Metro has an extensive public art collection, represented in all quadrants & in some out-of-the-way places. When I know I will have extra time in an area of the city, I check the city's Interactive Public Art Map & seek out interesting public art. Armstrong, called Route 66 Gorilla, is among my favorite pieces & is found in an interesting location--coming from the north, the gorilla is somewhat obscured behind huge yellow recycling dumpsters. 
     Very functional public art: below is a wavy handrail across a not-easy-to-find arroyo bridge, north of Paseo del Norte at Washington St. Kids were skateboarding the concrete arroyo inclines--with the Washington Bridge Design as the western edge of their skatepark.

Washington Bridge Design, by artist Kevin Christman, described by the MetroABQ Public Art Map page, is a "pedestrian bridge railing in a whimsical style with a geometric design mimicking waves & the flow of water."

     Directly above & above left are two images from the piece Los Libros, by artist John Northcutt, located in front of the Cherry Hills Library. From the city public art map page: “Los Libros” is a three-element installation of interactive minimal kinetic geometric forms...The frames enclosed inside of the main frames can be rotated to simulate the turning of pages & the expansion of knowledge, as the book is read and reread...Viewer participation allows for an ever-changing image..."
     Above right is an up-close viewpoint of the Washington Bridge Design art piece. Below is a map showing the location of the three public art pieces. From top clockwise, the Washington Bridge Design, Los Libros & Route 66 Gorilla. 
The Carlisle Returns:
Nob Hill's Greenest Condos Have Been Rebuilt
The Carlisle, above, sits on the corner of its namesake blvd & Central Ave/Rt 66 & is a 34-unit condo infill project in the literal heart of Nob Hill. Replacing an old car wash-cum-tattoo shop & parking lot, The Carlisle was set to open a year ago, when a now-jailed arsonist torched it & several other buildings over a few nights. The developer vowed to rebuild & a year later, here we are: new "small, luxury condos in a city with very few high quality small spaces," developer Kenny Hinkes explained to me then. The three-story complex was built better than before, with more environmentally green features; it is set to open again for the 1st time at the end of March...
     The design of the three stories includes no interior public hallways. Hinkes explained that in most condo complexes, units tend to open to a central enclosed hallway--that pass-through space can be dim & often windowless. The Carlisle is essentially "split in two," opening the interior to bright elevated open-air courtyards. The image two above shows the walkways for the 3rd floor penthouse units, with their en plein air walkways & own balconies. He's done this kind of thing before: directly above is another Hinkes project in Nob Hill, called 110 Richmond SE, that is about ten years old. Same idea--open up the interior hall with elevated walkways, which provides more natural light inside.
     Green features I love: the complex sports a large PV solar panel array on the roof, which lights the public areas, like the interior public balconies shown above, & lights the below ground parking garage. Each parking space is pre-wired for electric car hook-up, with the power also coming from the photovoltaic array. Low energy LED bulbs light the entire complex. Courtyard flooring pavers are made from recycled Firestone tires that don't heat up in the sun (nice for bare feet...) & are easy to switch out as they are interlockable, see image above. App-controlled ductless HVAC split units efficiently heat & cool the homes, each with three zones for better temperature control. All street-side windows are triple-pane & practically soundproof, double walled between units & Acoustiblock sound-dampening material also sits between the units.
     Jack Hinkes, the property manager & salesman, showed us to a 2100sqft unit which was two condos put together, creating a large, very custom 3bed/3bath home. That's the only unit combined with another; generally, they sit somewhere around +/-1000sqft--the original size of most of the single-family homes built in Nob Hill about a century ago. Developer Kenny Hinkes described it like this: these units allow folks to "move down in size, without moving down in lifestyle."  Already 19 units pre-sold & 15 available. Below is an interior image of a 1st-floor unit.
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