Sally Apfelbaum, Cliff Garten, and Libby Reuter | 2002
Cross County MetroLink extension
In early 2001, three artists, Sally Apfelbaum, Cliff Garten, and Libby Reuter joined architects and engineers on the design team for the eight-mile Cross County MetroLink extension. This practice of artist participation during the early stages of system design was established during the design and construction of the initial MetroLink alignment that opened in 1993.
The first MetroLink design team identified the light rail system as flowing through the region as a river. Building on this metaphor, the Cross County extension became its first tributary, with its own sense of place, history, community, ecological awareness, and visual beauty. The designers viewed the Cross County extension as a “green” tributary, physically and conceptually linking green spaces from Forest Park to Shrewsbury with the rest of the system. The Cross County team also met with community members in order to receive feedback on their design concepts and to incorporate community identity within the design of each station.
The work of these artists involved exploration of landscape alternatives, designing the paving patterns for concrete adjacent to stations, and creating the “flow”-patterned retaining walls running along the tracks in the below-grade stretches of the alignment. Apfelbaum, Garten, and Reuter also worked with communities to identify opportunities for site-specific art along the new extension. This laid the groundwork for the artists who were later commissioned to create artworks along the Cross County extension.