in 2010 CC SA-BY Our Oakland

The "Mid-Century Monster" is a sculpture and children's play structure between Lake Merritt and the bandstand. It was created in 1952 by sculptor Robert Winston. It was originally tinted green.

Bob Winston contemplating steel skeleton
photo courtesy Deirdre Winston
Parks superintendent William Penn Mott was inspired by Winston's free-form jewelry designs, and commissioned him to create something similar. The metal skeleton was formed at the Macri Iron Works in West Oakland. 1

The sculpture was previewed at the 1952 California Spring Garden Show.

After several years of decay, the monster was fenced off until plans and funds could be put together to renovate it.Lake Merritt's Mid-Century Monster Fan Club was a fervent participant in that effort, and in the summer of 2019 the monster was released for a new generation to enjoy.

December 2019 by Krisanne Combs

The album cover for Sly and the Family Stone's "Dance to the Music" (1968) was photographed with the band standing atop the statue.

from Wikipedia (fair use)

Nancy Hill, late 1950s. Courtesy Martha Ellen Wright.

Links and References

  1. Monster needs a bake sale Oakland Heritage Alliance newsletter by Kathleen diGiovanni