I’m all for grand projects and sculptures that are great, but you simply can’t compare this proposal with:

• Statue of Liberty

• Eiffel Tower

• St. Louis Arch

• Bilbao Guggenheim

• Washington Monument

• Empire State Building

Each of which have become worthy destinations in and of themselves. What I’d like to hear is some understanding of why and what factors make a great monument a destination that pay backs to the region and not just the egos of those involved.

All great monuments are always panned. I’m just reading the book documenting the history of the Eiffel Tower — which was both panned and sued — as I’m sure most, if not all of the above were. That’s just human nature. But what is the case to make this specific proposal worth it and truly great in the long run?

Each of the above have indeed specifically paid back because they are worthy for people to travel to for a visit. I personally have now been to each. I’ve also sought out most major sculptures and sculpture museums around the world.

So far, the wings haven’t convinced me and it’s not because I’m small minded or dislike big projects. I happen to adore big sculptures and monuments and for a long time have thought that San Diego deserves a tower that people to go up into to see the view — something that also generates income and makes it a true destination. Can you go up inside these wings? That at least would improve the visit-ability factor for tourism.

All of the above, you can actually go inside or up in to see the view — and that’s a clear significant difference from just sticking a sculpture somewhere where in fact, all you can do it just say — hey look at that. Maybe take your picture in front of it (unclear what this photo op will be from the ground). Until we can see it from other angles, it’s hard to get past the sales job.

Finally, what makes this have any connection with “freedom,” “explorers” or “entrepreneurs”?

Each of the above also required breakthrough engineering to accomplish — which also made them worthy to marvel at. Is that also the case with these wings?

I’m saying yes do something grand but let’s get real about what’s really worthy. There are basic lessons to be learned by studying and visiting all of the above and others. Do they apply to this proposal? Or not?

Carolyn Chase lives in Pacific Beach.

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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