The penis has been saved and is being reinstalled on Bridge Square

Carleton College - penis pavers 2 Carleton College - penis pavers 3 Carleton College - penis pavers 1 
Back in 2008, Carleton College installed cement sidewalk pavers at the corner of 2nd and Division.  The phallus design soon became controversial and plans to remove it were met with a ‘Save the Penis’ campaign that ultimately failed.

Bridge Square excavationThe Northfield Arts and Culture Commission, together with the Northfield Historical Society and the Downtown Streetscape Task Force, have pooled their public art monies to fund the reinstallation of the phallus design on a section of Bridge Square.

Yesterday, workers began excavation.  The bulbous shape of the excavated area will be reshaped into a phallus, designed by members of the Old Sculptors Project, the complementary group to the Young Sculptors Project that has installed a sculpture in front of the Northfield Library.

"We felt it was important to save a piece of Northfield history and to have it stick out right outside our door," said Hayes ‘Gabby’ Scriver,  Northfield Historical Society board member. 

"There was stiff opposition to the project for a while," wrote Ava Gina, Chair of the Northfield Arts and Culture Commission in an email to Locally Grown. "We went to great lengths to make our case. It was hard. In the end, we believed strongly that inserting this design into the most pubic [sic] space of Northfield was in the best interest of all."


  1. Michael Gunderson said:

    I like how Ava Gina said there was “stiff” opposition to this project. It amused me.

    June 26, 2012
  2. Andrew Tiano said:

    As much as I think this is hilarious, using public money to “reinstate” the penis is an abomination.

    This joke, while funny, will only galvanize people who oppose public money for the arts and the historical society in Northfield.

    If leaders of these organizations want to seem at all relevant, they should not make public statements like these. As someone who supports the use of public money for local arts, culture and historical preservation, I am at a loss as to how Scriver and Gina could be so utterly stupid. They’re shooting themselves in the foot, and more disastrously, harming the very organizations that they lead.

    I’m hoping that this is a joke, and I fall into the category of people quoted on

    June 27, 2012
  3. rob hardy said:

    I am proud to report, Griff, that the new Bridge Square penis will be tattooed with my taxpayer-supported poem. I expect “the penis” will now be poetically rechristened the Rob Knob.

    June 27, 2012
  4. Phil Poyner said:

    Rob, stop being such a tool…


    June 27, 2012
  5. Barry Cipra said:

    Rob, I trust you wrote your poem using the rhythm method.

    June 27, 2012
  6. Griff Wigley said:

    My Twitter exchange with Christopher Tassava:

    tassava: @LoGroNfld I don’t want to be a dick, but I think this is going to be a giant cockup.

    LoGroNfld: @tassava You’re right, it could come to a head soon

    tassava: @LoGroNfld Could get really sticky. (I’m stopping here, just on the verge of an NC-17 rating.)

    LoGroNfld: @tassava I’ll pull out, too

    June 27, 2012
  7. Griff Wigley said:

    Alas, Andrew, you do indeed fall into that category. Many others here on LoGro have taken the same path so take some comfort in that.

    June 27, 2012
  8. Emily Carroll said:

    Was this part of the stimulus package?

    June 27, 2012
  9. Jeanne Duke said:

    I orginally moved to Northfield because I thought it was a wholesome, old-fashion community. We loved the art, music, and many other advantages we would have the opportunity to be a part of.

    I don’t always understand some peoples idea of art. I believe this crossed a line being placed in a public area with most people unaware of it being put there. No one I’ve talked to seems happy about the change.

    June 28, 2012
  10. rob hardy said:

    I think it’s come to the point where this needs to be made clear: there is no penis. The only penis is in Griff’s adolescent imagination. The newly laid (dammit! these jokes write themselves) section of concrete in Bridge Square is purely non-representational. Any resemblance to genitalia, a Christmas tree ornament, a lightbulb, or anything else, is purely coincidental. There is, however, a lovely poem there now.

    June 28, 2012
  11. Phil Poyner said:

    “I think it’s come to the point where this needs to be made clear: there is no penis. The only penis is in Griff’s adolescent imagination.”

    Well, I wouldn’t go THAT far…

    June 28, 2012
  12. kiffi summa said:

    I always criticize (gently) Griff for being ‘adolescent’, but this has been a hilarious exchange, more so because of the ‘Straight-faced’ nature of writing comments instead of saying it with a big grin…

    And how nice to have some male genitalia-centered jokes; now all we need is some more full frontal male nudity in American made movies and we might be moving toward a better/ more tolerant culture!

    June 28, 2012
  13. Curt Benson said:

    This erection has lasted more than four hours. Was a doctor called?

    June 28, 2012
  14. Jon Bjork said:

    I could never understand why Carleton would give up such an important endowment –

    June 30, 2012
  15. Oh my christian ears : I am deeply offeneded by this conversation : p.s. I am only kidding shocking

    July 1, 2012

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