RTC broke ground on its main transit hub in downtown Reno on April 10, 2009. RTC 4TH STREET STATION opened to the public on Oct. 31, 2010. RTC 4TH STREET STATION improves bus operations, prepares for future growth and supports and enhances the transit experience for passengers and passersby.
RTC CENTENNIAL PLAZA began serving passengers on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008. Click here to learn more about this facility located in the heart of Victorian Square in Sparks.
Integrating art into the transit centers and stations is an important component of creating an enjoyable public transportation environment and experience when using the RTC RIDE service. Integrating art helps build a sense of pride, ownership, and identity with the surrounding community. Art plays a dynamic role in shaping the design of the Reno and Sparks transit centers.
Since the Federal Transit Administration introduced a Design and Art in Transit Projects program in the mid-1990’s, local designers and municipalities have created vital partnerships by including artists in the design of major transit projects. A local committee of art professionals and advocates from the Northern Nevada art community were impaneled to select artists for the RTC transit centers and stations.
Internationally acclaimed artist Donald Lipski was selected by the panel to design and build public art for RTC transit centers in both Reno and Sparks. Donald Lipski worked with the architects, other technical personnel and the community to define an appropriate and exciting art element for each facility while respecting the functional needs of the transit centers. In recent years, Lipski had focused his efforts on creating large-scale works for public spaces. Some of his most recognizable works include The Yearling, outside the Denver Public Library (originally exhibited by The Public Art Fund at Doris Freedman Plaza, Central Park, New York, 1997), Sirshasana, hanging in the Grand Central Market, Grand Central Terminal in New York City, and F.I.S.H. at the San Antonio River Walk, in Texas. There are twenty some others across the U.S. Lipski lives and works in New York City.
In 2012, local artists, Denise R. Duarte, Eileen Gay and Peter Goin, were selected to create environmental art for the RAPID stations along Reno’s Virginia Street corridor. The art created ranged from rustic iron cattle brand symbols embedded in the walk ways of the RAPID stations, to glimmering 3-dimensional rock sculptures twisting vertically upward atop its pedestal, and graphic art installations embedded in walkways telling of the rich history of Northern Nevada.
Denise R. Duarte
Denise R. Duarte is a native Nevadan, born in Reno, an award winning artist, sculptor and a lifelong activist/feminist. Denise’s work focuses on the point where aesthetic elements and environments are transitioning to socially significant and commonly held contexts. Denise is co-owner of D’Arte Designs, LLC., and has facilitated 8 public art projects and 8 community art projects. In Las Vegas, Nevada, “Flourish” received the 2011 Mayor’s Urban Design Award for Public Art and “Ancestral Gateway” received the 2008 Mayor’s Urban Design Award for Public Art. Denise’s environmental art pieces are installed at the McCarran Street outbound and inbound RAPID stations as well as the Peckham Lane inbound RAPID station. The installations were completed in 2012.
Eileen Gay’s series of 3 sculptural mosaic cairns ‘Transition To’, ‘Transition’ and ‘To Transition Again’ represent trail markers for RTC riders making the transition from one mode of travel to another. Each sculpted rock formation is a collection of rock mosaics piled upon each other; each rock represents an element in the cycle of life – another series of transitions: wood, fire, earth, metal and water.
The first cairn sculpture, ‘Transition To’, installed at the Mt. Rose Street outbound RAPID station on Virginia Street, displays ‘whole’ rock mosaic forms. The second cairn sculpture, ‘Transition’, installed at Meadowood Mall RTC Transfer Center, reveals colorful agate-like designs through a frontal slice. The third cairn sculpture, ‘To Transition Again’, installed at the inbound Liberty Street RAPID station on Center Street, reveals the colorful designs within the inner stone through a sliced front and back opening. The installations were completed in 2012.
High Desert Public Art is a consortium consisting of Peter Goin (Foundation Professor of Art at UNR) and project manager Scott Hinton (MFA San Jose State University). Peter Goin’s work has been included in the Washington State Public Art collection (currently artwork in secondary schools), and in public transit systems both in Los Angeles and in Buffalo, New York. Scott Hinton has been a collaborator on numerous other public art projects, including the manufacture of stainless steel fish into concrete sidewalks.
Peter’s and Scott’s collaboration sponsors low maintenance, permanent, aesthetic designs for walk ways and view ways; these designs feature the cultural history of design throughout Nevada. These Brands highlight the rich history of the Silver State. The art installations are located at the outbound Peckham Lane RAPID station, the outbound Orchard Plaza RAPID station, and inbound Center Street RAPID station. The installations were completed in 2012.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Program
An interesting element of this project is that the designs will distinguish the new transit centers as LEED-certified buildings–some of the first buildings in Reno and Sparks to achieve such accreditation. The LEED Green Building Rating SystemTM is a voluntary, consensus-based, national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.
Based on well-founded scientific standards, LEED emphasizes state of the art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Building to LEED standards may increase initial construction costs, yet those costs are typically recovered within the first 3 to 5 years of a building’s operating life through lower maintenance and energy costs.