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SeekSyracuse Public Art Project

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: SeekSyracuse Public Art Project
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It's a community art project aimed at getting folks to look up in downtown Syracuse. The SeekSyracuse public art project is a competition to see who can find the best ways to use the city's architecture to find the letters to spell Syracuse. As our Katie Gibas reports, it's not just about architecture and art.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Designed by the firm of King and King, it's where the bells of justice ring.

Bells of justice. That has to be the courthouse.

Solving the riddle and rhyme is just half the challenge. It takes a skilled eye to find the rest, hidden in the walls of the Salt City's past.

"That's one of the things that Syracuse has that other people don't is the old architecture that really makes downtown unique," said Syracuse resident David Price.

And such is the case for this scavenger hunt. Twelve riddles will help you find the clue, then all you have to do is find what sticks out of 12 downtown buildings, spelling out the city's name.

"The whole purpose is just to get people out and coming out an looking at buildings they've probably passed every single day or frequently, getting them to look up and look at them in a new way and really notice the architecture and the history that surround them," said Kate Auwaerter, Syracuse Public Art coordinator.

Well, we decided to do our own search to see how many letters we could find. So we went to a few different buildings, took my camera phone with me and we were able to find all the letters, but we did have to stretch on a couple of them.

"We live in the city. We're big advocates of downtown. We come downtown a lot, so it just seemed to fit," Price said.

"The riddles, seeing the buildings, the learning something about it and taking the pictures. The whole combined package is what makes it fun," said Syracuse resident Stanley Allen Ayres.

You can take one picture or a hundred, spend five minutes or several hours, but either way, it's a day of free fun.

Submissions are due this Wednesday by 5 p.m. All entries will be on display at City Hall Commons this Saturday when winners will be announced.

Information on SeekSyracuse

All you need is a camera or camera phone, an interest in riddles and an eye for uncovering the hidden alphabet in Syracuse.

SeekSyracuse invites neighbors to find and photograph the letters that spell "Syracuse" found on historic buildings in downtown Syracuse. The letters must come from the architecture itself: a window frame that forms the letter “E” or the connection between a sign and a building forms a “Y.” And, the letters must be “found.”

The catch is that the letters much be found on a particular set of buildings. To identify which buildings, you have to solve the simple riddles below that will lead to the selected buildings!

To participate, solve the riddles to identify the historic buildings. All the buildings are located in downtown Syracuse and are within walking distance of each other. Once you have solved the riddles, visit the buildings with your camera/camera phone and start the search for the individual “letters” that make up the word Syracuse.

Submit your images to Submissions are due by 5 p.m. Wednesday July 28, 2010.

Questions? Contact Kate Auwaerter, Syracuse Public Arts Coordinator, at You can also visit the City web site for more information and tips at and follow the links to SeekSyracuse.

All accepted submissions will be featured in an interactive display in City Hall Commons Atrium on ArtsWeek Saturday, July 31 during the day and will also be featured on All submissions will be judged based on their composition and creativity. The best of the individual letters, as well as the best complete “Syracuse,” will be featured as banners on the City’s website. The winners will receive large format posters of their winning letter(s) to be presented at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 31 in City Hall Commons.

SeekSyracuse Riddles

Solve these riddles to identify the buildings that are part of SeekSyracuse:

Founded in 1863,
it’s had two homes on Montgomery.
It’s not that big a mystery.
It’s just the best time in history.

It once was a mill where Jacob ground flour
and several canal boats would pass by the hour.
In a room on the first floor that’s totally “green”
comes a broadcast on Fridays that’s heard but not seen.

It was a church that harbored slaves,
who carved their faces in its caves.
The carvings are at OHA
and it’s a restaurant today.

Known as St. Mary’s until 1904.
To enlarge it they tore down the bathhouse next door.
Architect Russell’s Romanesque/Gothic pen
conceived this Cathedral in 1910.

Columbus Circle is its 4th home,
but this is its second House with a dome.
Designed by the firm of King & King,
it’s where the bells of justice ring.

A stainless steel sculpture, “The Spirit of Power”
is perched at the base of its Art-Deco tower.
With wings extended as though poised for flight,
it’s also known as “The Spirit of Light”.

Designed by the architect, Thomas Lamb,
its stage has been home to many a “ham."
One of our city’s historic buildings,
it’s said that a ghost roams its Persian gildings.

It’s housed presidents, movie stars, rock stars, and more.
It’s seen weddings and dinners and meetings galore.
It has eighty six years of historical lore.
It waits now to see just what future’s in store.

Dedicated to the service of our country at war,
home to the Crunch and concerts and more.
The sites of great battles are carved in its walls,
but music and cheering echo through its halls.

The Beadle Tract was chosen in 1909
because the rail-way and the canal-way both converged on that line.
The Post Office building had an impressive design
and for eighty two years it’s helped Clinton Square shine.

It once quartered soldiers of the northern alliance.
It now houses wonders of modern day science.
The Syracuse Symphony plays on its green
and magical movies play on its screen.

The City is run from within its walls
and Common Councilors walk its halls.
With an exterior of limestone block,
its tower has neither a bell nor a clock. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP