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Sunday, Sep 24, 2023

The Roving Eye

Is there no end to the wild designs being proposed for downtown L.A.?

Last year, it was the towering City of Angels monument just west of the Harbor (110) Freeway. Now another statue is being proposed atop the Transamerica building on South Hope Street.

Developer Charles Sousa and the artist Sowasi want to create a 650-foot person sitting atop the building. In a sort of homage to “The Thinker,” the figure would be made of metal tubing and topped by a bright green ball that would light up at night.

They’re pitching it as a monument to the common man.

“This is a representation of the real stature of the little guy,” says Sousa. “The heart of it is the social aspect.”

Sousa says feasibility and engineering studies put the cost of the statue at about $50 million. He believes the image could spark lots of merchandising opportunities to pay for the project along with job training, tree planting, and other civic efforts.

The developer says he pitched the project to Transamerica in 1992. But the company seems to have a short corporate memory. No one there was familiar with the proposal.

Laurie Bayless, vice president of corporate communications for Transamerica, said no one there remembers seeing a proposal for the project.

She doubts it would ever win acceptance.

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