AKA: Embarcadero Center, Herman, Justin, Plaza, "Quebec Libre!" Sculpture, San Francisco, CA

Structure Type: visual works - sculpture

Designers: Portman, John C. and Associates (firm); John Calvin Portman Jr. (architect/developer); Armand Vaillancourt (sculptor)

Dates: constructed 1971

Market Street
San Francisco, CA

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Armand Vaillancourt's controversial Brutalist sculpture, standing outside the Embarcadero Center in Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco, CA, was completed in 1971. It is composed of 101 rectangular concrete boxes, each "distressed" to accentuate a "ruined" appearance. Water flows through some of the boxes, draining into a catch basin.

During a free concert in Justin Herman Plaza on 11/11/1987, Bono, of the Irish rock band, U2, spray-painted the phrase "Rock & Roll stops the traffic" on the Vaillancourt Fountain, triggering a ticket from the police and a rebuke from Mayor Diane Feinstein. The artist appeared at a U2 concert the next evening and expressed his approval of Bono's graffiti gesture by spray painting the stage at the Oakland Coliseum.

PCAD id: 3384