You may recognize this iconic trike rider from Merle Hay Mall's fourth quarter of the 20th century. The bronze sculpture, UpDown, was created by artist, Mark Jacobsen, in the early 70s for display in the mall's center court, where it stood for over 20 years.
“We couldn't be more excited to welcome UpDown to the City of Johnston,” said Mayor Paula Dierenfeld. “UpDown is the first of many art pieces that will be displayed within the Johnston Town Center. These art additions will provide residents and visitors with enhanced experiences as they make their way along the interurban trail. UpDown is certain to bring back fond memories of past visits to the mall and now will stand at the trailhead near our new City Hall to greet passers-by for many years to come.”
UpDown left a lasting impression on thousands who shopped and played at Merle Hay Mall, including Jerri Scott, lifetime Iowan. Scott learned the piece had been moved to storage during a mall renovation. She eventually purchased the sculpture. UpDown was placed in Scott's garden and has enjoyed visitors along Thompson Avenue since 2001. Scott has generously donated her 'yardmate' UpDown, to the City of Johnston.
The City of Johnston is excited to be able to offer a new home for UpDown. Residents and visitors can find him along the City's trailhead located east of City Hall. UpDown will be unveiled at the Mayor's annual Bike Ride on Saturday, May 15, beginning at 11:45 a.m. Johnston City Hall is located at 6221 Merle Hay Rd.