Boise & Garden City

A 13-year-old mistake led to $600,000 redo of Boise Airport’s “Terra Firma”

"Terra Firma" redo underway at Boise Airport

Bubbles started appearing in the mosaic on the ground floor of the airport's rotunda, leading to a reconstruction of the 13-year-old artwork.
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Bubbles started appearing in the mosaic on the ground floor of the airport's rotunda, leading to a reconstruction of the 13-year-old artwork.

Artist Elizabeth Wolf completed “Terra Firma” in 2003.

But the concrete under Wolf’s piece, whose centerpiece depicts a compass rose decorated with Idaho symbols like the state bird and flower on a map of the northwestern states, never completely cured, airport spokesman Sean Briggs said.

Recently, bubbles started appearing in the “Terra Firma” surface. Briggs said experts concluded water oozing upward was causing the bubbles.

Early this year, city-hired crews tore up “Terra Firma” and, after letting the concrete underneath finish curing, have begun replacing the artwork. The terrazzo surface around the outside will be done first, Briggs said, and the centerpiece will be the final phase.

The whole project, whose cost is about $600,000, should be done by early March, Briggs said.

Bubbles started appearing in the mosaic on the ground floor of the airport's rotunda, leading to a reconstruction of the 13-year-old artwork.

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