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Giant Wall Outlet and Plug.

Giant Wall Outlet and Plug

Field review by the editors.

Petaluma, California

They may aspire to go off the electrical grid or use alternate energy sources, but towns need power. Electrical power substations are familiar, ugly downtown structures of the past century -- a necessary architectural evil. In the 1920s, when Petaluma was a small town of 6,000 gaining an agricultural reputation as "The World's Egg Basket," Pacific Gas and Electric Company erected an electrical substation on D Street.

In 2015, the utility company commissioned artist Joel Jones and fabricator Shawn Thorsson to create a public sculpture on the outside wall of the historic building. The novel result was a large white household wall plate, dual beige outlets and an electrical plug. The sculpture is made of fiberglass, urethane resin, and various coatings, then mounted on a hidden steel bracket. A fence keeps the public from getting too intimate with the power cord.

Giant Wall Outlet and Plug

PG&E Substation

1st St., Petaluma, CA
NW corner of 1st St and D St. Along the sidewalk, behind a storm fence.
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