Below is a press release from Cummings Properties:
WILMINGTON, MA — New large-scale contemporary outdoor sculptures are creating a buzz throughout the community. The bright orange roadside art quietly appeared in recent weeks at 12 Cummings Properties locations, including 50 Concord Street in Wilmington.
Cummings drew on in-house expertise to complete the design, construction, and installation of these architectural monuments. During this process, team members began referring to the artwork as the “Iron Butterfly,” or Ferro Papilio, for its resemblance to a monarch butterfly in a garden.
Butterflies have long held cultural significance to peoples throughout the globe. In Navajo culture, for example, the butterfly is often considered a symbol of joy and resurgence. To the Hopi people, it signifies future abundance and health, and in Japan, it suggests longevity. In some African cultures, the butterfly is a symbol of resurgence and transformation.
“The trials of the pandemic have shined a light on the Commonwealth’s incredible adaptability and resilience,” said Cummings Properties founder Bill Cummings. “As we are emerging from this incredibly challenging period, we felt that the butterfly was an apt symbol to share with the community.”
Cummings chief design officer Jim Trudeau created the schematic for the project.
“This effort dovetails with the long tradition of placing public art by landmark buildings,” said Trudeau.
The dual purpose of the sculptures is to engage the viewer and enliven the setting, according to Trudeau. They have, however, also sparked lively conversations among observers, whose interpretations vary greatly.
Some onlookers see an enormous X (the so-called “Cummings Crossroads”), others see Jacks from childhood, and several biotech professionals have begun referring to the “Cummings Chromosomes.”
Finished in Cummings’ signature orange hue, these striking symbols of durable practicality are crafted in steel and stand at nine feet. Twelve monuments have thus far also been installed at the firm’s business and technology parks in Woburn, Wilmington, Stoneham, Beverly, and Andover, and 10 more are in fabrication in Woburn. The Company has also donated a sculpture to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, in North Grafton.
For more than five decades, Cummings has shaped large tracts of greater Boston’s suburban landscape through the erection of first-class commercial buildings and modern business campuses. Its dedication to artistry was chronicled by the late Ada Louise Huxtable, a Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic. In a 1997 Wall Street Journal feature story, she lauded the firm’s transformation of United Shoe Machinery Company’s headquarters into Cummings Center, Beverly.
Cummings Properties’ 11 million square feet of commercial real estate accommodates offices, healthcare facilities, labs, restaurants, retail storefronts, warehouses, satellite offices, executive suites, and more. With a portfolio of this size and variety, the firm can meet almost any commercial real estate need from 150 square feet to 300,000 square feet. Its in-house experts in design, construction, and property management offer “one-stop shopping” for the suburban business community.
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