Column: Ontario dreamed of high-rises, settled for warehouses

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You know that sprawling field north of the 10 Freeway in Ontario? Since the Reagan years it was set aside for a new, urban downtown with high-rise offices, restaurants, apartments and more. Now it’s being developed with warehouses. (This is why we can’t have nice things.) Wednesday’s column delves into the dream that was.

Above, the view from Fourth Street, looking east.

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George Chaffey at ONT

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Traveling from Ontario International in June, I paused to take a look at the George Chaffey relief sculptures on permanent display in Terminal 4. They were done in 1998 by sculptor John Svenson, who died in April.

With Svenson’s life and work fresh in my mind, and with time before my flight, this was a good opportunity to examine them more closely, and take photos to document them here, a less harried place than an airport, for everyone’s examination and contemplation.

The individual panels, presented in a row (two can be seen above), illustrate aspects of the Ontario and Upland founder’s legacy or accomplishments, followed by an angled view of the main image, to highlight the lizard at Chaffey’s foot, and the artist statement.

Take a look at the sculptures in person next time you’re flying Southwest, and reflect on Chaffey, not to mention Svenson.

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