SCULPTURE MAGAZINE: January 1996: Jeffrey Schiff’s commission at the South Station Train Terminal dangles several feet above the hustle and bustle of the busy entrance hall. Titled Destinations, the piece consists of 25 fabricated steel spools and shapely cast bronze forms suspended from the station’s ceiling. Steel cables wind around each spool, extend to 90 feet across the ceiling’s span and thread through eyehooks to drop down at varying lengths. Each hanging form is an open-ended vessel combined with the characteristics of a plumb-bob, a device that locates a precise topographical position.
Schiff intended the paths of the cables – from their origins in locked spools to their varying end-points – to symbolize the journey of a typical passenger, in much the same way that sculptural imagery at a cathedral entrance prepares visitors for the spiritual realm within. The randomly criss-crossing cables suggest the mingling of travelers’ lives as they interact and head toward their journey’s end. Schiff was originally commissioned in the early ‘80s to create a floor design, but as construction plans changed he was asked to redo the design. Destinations, his second proposal, was commissioned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and the Federal Railroad Administration, and was completed in 1995.
LOCATION: Dewey Square Entrance Hall
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Musclebound for Miami
Musclebound for Miami, by Mayer Spivack, was commissioned in 1981 and donated to the MBTA in 1990 by the Federal Railroad Administration, and installed within the South Station Train Terminal on March 15, 1991. It is an assemblage of Type “H” Locking Couplers. These are the couplers which may be seen connecting all railroad cars. The sculpture weighs about 4,000 pounds and has been placed on strong footings which were designed into the building during the rehabilitation of the historic terminal.
Musclebound for Miami is an abstract, anthropomorphic sculpture. Railroad couplers are strong, bulky and muscular. They pull and stabilize rail cars on curves; during changes in train speed they become the muscles and sinews of the railroad. Boston is the head of a continuous rail line which terminates in Miami, Florida.
LOCATION: Adjacent to the train information kiosk
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