Mermaid statue.

Mermaid Meant For South Carolina

Field review by the editors.

Jacksonville, Florida

In the 1990s the city of Beaufort, South Carolina, had money in the budget for public art in its waterfront park. Fifteen entries were submitted to the local arts commission, and the unanimous choice was a four-ton, 14-foot-long stone mermaid riding a wave with her aquatic friends.

But Beaufort's city council was unhappy. First, the sculptor, with the artistic name of Thomas Glover W., described his work as "erotic." The city council made him promise to cover the mermaid's breasts. They demanded more and more changes, until Glover W. abandoned the mermaid concept altogether, in favor of a white porpoise named "Carolina Snowball."

It gradually became clear that no compromise was good enough for the city council, which simply canceled the public art project.

But Thomas Glover W. couldn't get the mermaid out of his head, and, a decade later, when a developer in his home state of Florida asked him to design a sculpture for an outdoor fountain at a Jacksonville strip mall, that's where the mermaid ended up -- unfettered by clothes or council.

Mermaid Meant For South Carolina

13475 Atlantic Blvd, Jacksonville, FL
On the north side of FL-10/Atlantic Blvd, just east of the intersection of FL-101A/San Pablo Rd.
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