A York graduate, Joseph Sheppard, designed a huge metal rose to stand in the lake, but it was never built.
This article from Vision, November 1993:
The world's largest mechanical rose may soon be seen from your bedroom window.
A York University graduate has designed a sculpture that could turn out to be the centrepiece of campus.
Joseph Sheppard spent months designing the 30 foot mechanical `Rose of York' and has approached the University's Art Committee to ask them to approve the design.
The Rose, which he suggests should be located in the lake between James College and Wentworth, would be the only one of it's kind in the country. He chose the design because ``The University needs a symbol, something close to York city itself. The Rose was the obvious choice.''
It has been designed to open and close automatically when water falls onto it (either by rainfall or a fountain) and it is painted white with special thermo-sensitive paint, which will turn dark red when the temperature falls below freezing.
Joseph is adamant that the design will not cost the University a penny, as it will be maintenance free. All the money he needs to build the Rose will come from charities. ``The York Common Good Trust has offered some financial help, but I need more,'' he said.
``It's still a long way from being built, and is only on the second stage of approval but if it does get built it will take about six months to complete.''
A lot of research went into the design of the Rose and, where possible, environmentally-friendly materials will be used in it's construction. The paint, for example, has been tested by the University's Chemistry Department and will not cause pollution by running into the lake.
The Rose will work silently so as not to disturb students and the structure can hold three times it's own weight, so will stand up to the rigours of students trying to climb it.
Joseph is no stranger to designing and sculpting. He has sculptures in Prague, Tokyo and the University of California. He has also sculpted for the National Children's Home, to help raise money. The Rose is just one of his latest projects.
Some students were not impressed by the design, saying it was ``ugly'', ``outrageous'', and ``a bit of an eyesore'', but most thought ``it would make a nice change'' or ``brighten up the campus''.
However the University's Art Committee Secretary, Philip Simison, stated that, ``The idea has not actually been approved by the University, although we are looking to the future by trying to identify possible sites for new sculptures.''
Rose of York