Downtown’s Triforium – an Amazing Public Art Sculpture

Oct 20, 2010 by Lisa Newton

After my first glance at it, I was stunned by both its beauty and creativity. To be frank, it was far larger than I expected; and much more colorful, too.

The Triforium is a 6-story, 60 ton public art sculpture, located at the intersection of Temple and Main Streets, in Downtown Los Angeles.

It was installed in 1975, by sculptor and artist Joseph Young, whose original plan was for the sculpture to be a Kinetic sculpture, which uses motion sensors along with a computer-controlled system, to detect and translate the motions of all passing individuals, to be transformed artistically into patterns of light and sounds.

Conceived to integrate art, science and music into a unified physical, visual and audio theme, the work was described by Young as "a bold, confident statement that expresses man’s faith in the future." Source: Public Art in LA

its final price tag was $1,000,000!

Although spectacular in many respects, the Triforium has led to many nicknames:


  • The Psychedelic Nickelodeon
  • Trifoolery
  • Three Wishbones in Search of a Turkey
  • Kitsch-22 of Kinetic Sculpture
  • Joe’s L.A. Space Launch

Nonetheless, after decades of disrepair, the city decided in 2006 to finally bring the sculpture up to current standards.

This undertaking cleaned and repaired its pod-like speakers.

They each hang between 22 vertical steel columns of Italian hand blown and colored glass prisms; which encircle the sculptures three two-legged arrow shaped legs.

Confused or curious?

To gain an understanding of what this amazing public art sculpture entails–the city has a technician to painstakingly clean each one of its 1,500 hand-blown glass prisms, along with changing each one of its bulbs.

If you’d like to see the Triforium when it’s all lit up, plan your visit between 6:00-8:00am; 5:00-7:00pm or 6:00-8:00pm, depending on the season.

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One Response to “Downtown’s Triforium – an Amazing Public Art Sculpture”

  1. greg urbano says:

    great to have art in your community, always makes things better!
    greg urbano´s last blog ..St Pete Photo Walk My ComLuv Profile


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