Council Members to Consider the Future of the Whale Tail Off of Rt. 250

June 15, 2014

After years of exposure to weather the popular whale tail is taking center stage at the Charlottesville City Council meeting.

The beloved sculpture sits right off of Rt.250 in Charlottesville and neighbors say they don’t want to see it go.

“I tell everybody that I live by the whale tail and they all know exactly where I live and we really like it,” says Tony Broccoli, who lives near the whale tail.

The sculpture, designed by Thomas Givens, has been a staple piece for Charlottesville since it was created several years ago.

Now city council is considering what to do with it next, since a lease agreement for the tail will be up on July 1st.

“The whale's tail is kind of reaching the end of its natural life,” say city councilor Kristin Szakos. “The finish is worn off and it's starting to crack and look a little sad.”

There used to be three whale tail sculptures on that lot, but after the 2010 microburst storm they were destroyed and was replaced by the one currently on the lot
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Now it is also on its last leg and council members hope to come up with a solution.

“I think at this point, it's been there for a long time, we knew it was wood and we knew it wasn't going to last forever,” says Szakos. “I think it's a great opportunity for a new piece of art there, but I'll be sad to see the whale tail go.”

The whale tail is one of the most memorable pieces of art around Charlottesville and for people who live around it. Some of them are reminded of the beach, while others are reminded of their childhood.

Saoirse and Maire Lee live right across the street from the whale's tail and have enjoyed it ever since it was created several years ago.

“I like it,” says Maire. “I think it's really pretty and it's a nice place.”

“It's sort of become a part of our neighborhood and is really well known,” says Saoirse.

They also like the other large pieces of artwork scattered around Charlottesville.

“I just remember the woman who is sitting back over by McIntire and the man running with the papers coming out of his bag,” says Saoirse.

They hope that that the next piece of art is just as cool as the giant whale tail.


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