Courtesy Photo

Council Gives Thumbs Up to Airport Sculpture

A glass sculpture of two adjoining feathered wings — 20 feet high — that pays tribute to the importance of Santa Barbara as a training site for marine pilots during WWII will soon greet travelers coming and going from the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport as they pass by the Earle Ovington Terminal. The Santa Barbara City Council unanimously embraced the plans, designed by sculptor Douglas Lochner and sponsored by the Pierre Claeyssens veterans foundation. Crowbarring the project through the city process was John Blankenship, who recalled how 10 years ago Claeyssens — a major philanthropist who died in 2003 — gave him a check for $1 million and instructed him to follow his passion and never quit. Some members of the Airport Commission had expressed concern about visitors bumping their heads on the glass wings or the buildup of smudgy fingerprints, and praised the artists for addressing such issues with plan revisions.

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