The Story Behind the Fork Sculpture at Pasadena and St. John

Puns and public art can be polarizing, often eliciting a love-it-or-hate-it response, so combining the two would seem to invite special scorn. Yet Pasadenans are nothing if not intelligent (the hallmark of any good pun) and famously supportive of public art. Both points are well made at the intersection of Pasadena and St. John avenues—a literal fork in the road—illustrated by an 18-foot-tall wooden fork.

The fork sculpture, which mysteriously appeared in the median one morning in 2009, was unpermitted, and its origin was a mystery at first. Soon enough, local business owner Ken Marshall admitted it had been erected to commemorate the 75th birthday of his friend Bob Stane, founder of the Ice House comedy club.

While the city eventually removed the fork due to safety concerns, it was soon reinstalled, set back farther from the street on the same traffic island. So what began as a witty homage became a permanent installation in October 2011, and naturally it has become a popular selfie location for anyone ready and willing to put a fork in it.


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