Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The Griffin of Scott Avenue
By definition, a griffin is a fabled monster, usually having the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. So what is this 12-foot glittery orange half-lion, half-eagle doing in downtown Tucson?
Rumor has it that this creature is a reincarnation of one of four griffins that once guarded the nearby 1901 Carnegie Library on 6th Avenue.
As the story goes, in 1941 when the library was burning down, one griffin fled by foot. The old library building is now the Tucson Children's Museum. Today, one can follow griffin footprints embedded in the pavement from the children's museum to the new griffin sculpture.
Part of the Scott Avenue revitalization project unveiled in May, the steel griffin sculpture by local artist Joe O'Connell can be found on Scott Avenue at Corral Street. If you're anywhere in the vicinity, you can't miss it. It's big...it's orange...and it sparkles in the sunlight!
And after dark, red lights on the griffin's ribcage light up its raised wings.