A winged sculpture soon will fly to its permanent home in Winter Garden.
City commissioners approved the placement of a new copper butterfly sculpture in Winter Garden’s downtown during the Thursday, Dec. 12, meeting.
The butterfly, crafted by renowned artist Don Reynolds, will stand about 10 feet tall with a wingspan of about 8 feet.
Members of the Bloom & Grow Garden Society gave a presentation about the sculpture — a gift to the city in appreciation of its partnership over the past 20 years with the annual Spring Fever in the Garden festival.
Brenda Knowles, society president, said the sculpture will cost the club about $100,000.
Reynolds also was present to discuss sculpture.
“This piece is also significant to me mainly because it’s a butterfly in a winter garden flying by a street named ‘plant,’” Reynolds said. “I think that’s pretty unique. I’ll be using mainly copper, which I think relates to the color of a monarch butterfly in a symbolic way. It’s a great honor to be able to do this for the city. I love Winter Garden — it’s just a great place to be.”
Reynolds’ artwork already is prominent in Central Florida. One of his most recognizable pieces — a bronze knight charging on horseback — stands outside Spectrum Stadium, home of the UCF Knights football team.
Reynolds’ creations have even found a home on the other side of the globe. His Carrara marble statue of a sailor steering a ship’s helm was purchased by the city of Pietrasanta in Italy and now sits on a pier for the public to enjoy.
City Manager Mike Bollhoefer said the butterfly sculpture will be a fine addition to the downtown.
“I just want to thank them for all the work they’ve done — they’ve been working on this for quite some time,” Bollhoefer said. “We’re known as the cultural and commercial center of West Orange County. It’s appropriate to put this here. We also have some murals coming to town soon and some other sculptures through SoBo, so it’s just a great addition to Winter Garden, and it just adds another asset and makes our community special and stand out in the Central Florida area.”
Bollhoefer said the sculpture will be located in a new park planned near the downtown splash pad.
PACKING PLANT RENOVATION
The commission also approved the site plan for an applicant to renovate the existing buildings and construct site improvements at the packing plant located at 1061, 1063 and 1065 Tildenville School Road.
The redevelopment involves maintaining most of the existing historic industrial structures while renovating and repurposing them to house uses such as art, retail, food and professional and medical offices.
Renovations include reconfiguring the parking and drive aisles, adding landscaping, installing a sidewalk along Tildenville School Road, adding golf cart and bike facilities and building new outdoor seating areas.
“They’re taking an old building and restoring it, which is very unusual today,” Bollhoefer said. “It’s over 100 years old — this could be a great addition. We’d also like to waive their impact fees for water and sewer because of all their costs. … We know they’re putting extra funds into the building.”
City commissioners approved the site plan and conditions unanimously.