Slover Library, LL40

235 E. Plume St.

Norfolk, VA 23510

(757) 664-6854


Installed October 2012

Portland Oregon artist Pete Beeman created this kinetic installation ”Open Up the Doors” for the HRT Building located at 504 E. 18th St., Norfolk, VA.

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Watch Pete’s video on You Tube!

See a view from the bottom

Visit Pete Beeman’s website:

The sculpture consists of 4 pairs of “doors” mounted vertically on the clock tower, one pair above another. The doors are mounted with pivots to a rigid frame. This frame is mounted to the surface of the tower itself. A visible machine is also mounted on the rigid frame, consisting of a motor connected to a long vertical shaft running between and behind the doors. The motor drives the shaft with a roller chain drive and toothed sprockets. The vertical shaft is actually a form of crank shaft, like one would find in a motor to be driven by offset pistons, with an opposing off center crank pair for each set of doors. Each crank set is offset 45 degrees from the one above it. Tie rods run between the crank sets and the doors.

As the motor drives the shaft, the cranks move the doors, causing them to slowly cycle open and closed. Because each crank set is offset 45 degrees from its neighbors, the doors are opening and closing not in unison, but in sequence, creating a sort of wave of motion traveling up and down the door panels. So when one door pair is closed, the one below it is slightly open, the next one down half way open, and the bottom one almost all the way open.