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Planning Board Approves Corica Fire Tower Design

On May 13, the Planning Board approved a design for the Corica Park Golf Course Fire Tower beautification project. The project consists of a mural inspired by a topographical map of Alameda wrapping all four sides of the fire tower and a landscape and fencing plan that creates a gathering place on the grounds surrounding the tower.

Alameda Post - the fire tower in it's current state with no paint
The fire tower’s current condition. Photos presented at the Planning Board meeting on May 13, 2024; Agenda #5-A, Exhibit 2.
Alameda Post - an early artist concept of the Fire Tower Beautification Project. In this design, the mural takes the shape of a large green plant climbing the tower
The Planning Board rejected the original design for the fire tower for being “too psychedelic.” Images presented at the Planning Board meeting on May 13, 2024; Agenda #5-A, Exhibit 1.

Background

Greenway Golf Associates, Inc. leases the Corica Park Golf Course from the City. Under the lease agreement, Greenway must renovate and beautify the abandoned fire tower and surrounding area at the corner of Island Drive and Clubhouse Memorial Road. The tower is currently an eyesore, and it is more expensive to demolish the building than to beautify it and leave it in place.

The Board had unanimously accepted a previously submitted landscaping plan in April 2023 but rejected the original mural design, requesting a more subtle pattern. Mural designers Local Edition and John Horton submitted a new mural concept and three color schemes.



The previously approved landscaped gathering place will not be open to the general public but may be reserved for classes or special meetings. It will include a fenced pollinator garden of native, drought-resistant plants, a gravel walkway, and a gathering area. The existing building will not be expanded or changed. It will remain vacant and merely visually improved and maintained.

Alameda Post - three different designs for the fire tower that are variations of a topographical map of Alameda. Option C is the most vibrant, and Options A and B are more subdued
Design Options A, B, and C. Images presented at the Planning Board meeting on May 13, 2024; Agenda #5-A, Exhibit 2.
Alameda Post - three different design renders for the fire tower that are variations of a topographical map of Alameda. Option C is the most vibrant, and Options A and B are more subdued
Renders for Design Options A, B, and C. Images presented at the Planning Board meeting on May 13, 2024; Agenda #5-A, Exhibit 2.

Board discussion and next steps

The Board unanimously approved the new mural design, calling it a significant improvement over the original design, but they were split over the color scheme. Each of the three color schemes had their champions among the Board Members.

Ultimately, the Board voted to approve the design but left the final color choice to the artists’ discretion, requesting that the color scheme lean toward cooler and more natural colors. The artists responded that they would likely go with color scheme A or B (see illustrations), dialing back the intensity. Greenway must complete the Fire Tower mural and improvements to the surrounding area within six months.

Contributing writer Karin K. Jensen covers boards and commissions for the Alameda Post. Contact her via [email protected]. Her writing is collected at https://linktr.ee/karinkjensen and https://alamedapost.com/Karin-K-Jensen.

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