Bridge Gaps
Concrete Cornfield
Posted on: 08-31-2019 by Elizabeth Yokel


Fields in NW Ohio lie unsown, as they never got the corn seed planted into the soil this year with the wet planting season. Subsequently, one would assume that a healthy stand of corn is not easy to locate in the area, except in Dublin, Ohio. But this is not your usual corn crop. At first glance, it seems a weird version of Stonehenge and for a very good reason: Locals refer to it as: Cornhenge.

It's a field of 109 concrete ears of corn, six feet tall. Some of us might rush to judgment. Is it some off-the-wall novelty art? Not exactly. It does have purpose and meaning. The field was created by Columbus artist Malcolm Cochran and it's called "Cornfield with Osage Orange Trees".  The installation is a tribute to Sam Frantz,a farmer who owned and farmed much of the land in that area of Dublin. Cochran was a key inventor of hybrid corn. These concrete ears of corn are to signify not just the importance of his work, but the graveyard-like formation that is thought to be a symbol of: the area's death, as a rural farmland.


Today, it is now populated with commercial and office buildings. Cochran individually handcrafted each cob, weighing 1,500 pounds. They may look alike from a distance, but up close you can discern that each one is a bit different. Next to the field, you can find park benches and placards which tell the story of Frantz and the importance of hybrid corn. The field is anchored on one end by a row of Osage Orange trees. These were commonly planted years ago as field borders.

When "Cornhenge"  was created in 1994, it instantly became a joke among some locals, and an object of corn scorn; among those who bristled over public money used for the project. Though still, as with any field of dreams, if you build it, they will come; and they did. So, long 25 years after Malcolm Cochran planted this strange crop, the kernel of truth is this: the critics are gone and this garden still stands, every year producing a harvest of smiles.





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