THE GATEWAY TO THE SOUTHWEST AND SO MUCH MORE!
The project consists of four components. The first component is the capital component for the design and construction of a pair of 45-foot sculptures, installed in the roundabouts on the bridge. The Sculptures will be seen by approximately 18.7 million vehicles annually from I-25. Secondly, there is a program component or Community Participation Plan which consists of public meetings, promotion, marketing and an online based web site for submittals by the community and recognition of project donors. The third component will be the construction of two small replica sculptures located in the Riverwalk Gateway Plaza to provide access to visitors who can’t stop at the main sculptures on Dillon Drive bridge. Finally, a stewardship fund will be established to take care of the maintenance of the Gateway Sculptures such as, graffiti and lighting.
WHY GATEWAY TO THE SOUTHWEST?
The Committee has recommended the theme of “Gateway to the Southwest” for the monumental gateway sculptures. This new theme or brand will give Pueblo a unique identity along the Interstate 25 corridor and within the State of Colorado. The new theme/brand signifies Pueblo as being a destination with distinct cultural and geographical differences from other parts of our state.
The Arkansas River was the northern border of the Republic of Mexico and the disputed area claimed by Texas as shown on the map below of the Concession of Mexico in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The land purchased by the U.S. Government is known as the Great Southwest and lies south and west of Pueblo. In 1848 when the Treaty was signed, El Pueblo Trading Post had been an active settlement on the banks of the Arkansas River already for six years. Pueblo’s historic location on the Arkansas River once an international border of Mexico and United States has contributed to its southwest culture that makes up the present-day City of Pueblo. The semi-arid desert landscape and geography around Pueblo is more like that of New Mexico and the southwest than it is of the high plains region of our neighbors to the north. The Gateway will emphasize Pueblo’s position along the southern I-25 corridor, the Front Range, association with southwest cities of Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque and as a gateway to the Southwest region of the Country.