No, not the Green Monster at Fenway Park. (If you’re a baseball fan, you know what the Green Monster is; if you’re not a baseball fan, you don’t care.)
Lake Merritt sits at the center of the city of Oakland. (Famously dismissed by native daughter Gertrude Stein: “Whenever you get there, there is no there there.”) Artist Robert Winston created a sculpture whose purpose was to give the city’s children a work of art to play on. The “Mid-Century Monster” was installed in 1952, near the water at Lakeside Park. Kids loved climbing on it, as did Sly and the Family Stone.
Over the decades, weather faded the green color to white and the sculpture deteriorated from lack of maintenance. The city decided it was unsafe and put a fence around it to keep children off it.
Early this year, the Lake Merritt’s Mid-Century Monster Fan Club spearheaded the effort to return the monster to its previous green glory. The project succeeded and the beloved green monster is again worthy of now rapidly-gentrifying Oakland. July 28 was the official unveiling, rather, un-fencing of the playground sculpture.