A welcome sight: Gateway Plaza sculpture includes nods to some MU favorites

Columbia’s new, eye-catching front entrance is packed with historical references.

Nov. 30, 2021
Contact: Nathan Byrne, nathanbyrne@missouri.edu

Earlier this month, community partners dedicated Gateway Plaza, which stands at the corner of East Broadway and North Providence Road. The installation is part of the Downtown Community Improvement District’s plan to bring public art downtown and was designed to complement the expansion and redevelopment of Flat Branch Park. The unveiling capped eight years of planning, design and development. The plaza’s dedication also marks one of the largest commemorations of the city’s bicentennial.

All of the letters except the “o” are stainless steel pieces that stand 5 feet tall. Each letter contains a reference to key elements of the community.

The “o” in the word “Columbia” takes the form of a globe. It is 8 feet in diameter and includes 11 critical dates from Columbia’s history as well as words and images collected from a public-input initiative that asked residents to submit words that describe their city.

Mizzou is represented on the globe in several different spots. The familiar stacked MU logo is featured prominently amid Columbia milestones.

The establishment of MU’s Sanborn Field in 1888 and the School of Journalism — the first in the United States — in 1908 are featured near the top of the globe.

The sculpture also gives a nod to the students who are an integral part of our local and campus community.

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