Painting of steam locomotive Jupiter pays tribute to Campbell’s agricultural past and technological future
Campbell, Calif. – Apartment leasing tech company On-Site.com unveiled an artful addition to the architecture of the city with a 100 ft. x 20 ft. mural painted on the northern exterior of its Campbell headquarters. On-Site co-founder and Chairman Tom Harrington commissioned the mural, by British artist Andrew Johnstone, depicting the steam locomotive Jupiter. The Jupiter served a mostly rural Santa Clara Valley just over 100 years ago and is now on display in the Smithsonian.
Andrew is notable for being one of a number of artists responsible for building the wooden effigy that is ceremoniously burned every year as part of the aptly named Burning Man festival in Nevada.
Johnstone’s depiction shows the Jupiter hauling two flatcars. One flatcar is loaded with crates of dried fruit bearing the Ainsely and Sunsweet logos, two brands that once operated fruit processing plants in the area and helped make Campbell an important railway destination through the first half of the twentieth-century. The other flatcar is loaded with crates emblazoned with the logos of HP, Apple, IBM and On-Site, paying homage to the homegrown nature of the Silicon Valley tech companies. The pairing of the fruit and tech company logos serves as a symbol of the transformation from an economy driven by farming to one powered by technology here in the Valley. See pictures here >>
On-Site CEO Jake Harrington remarked, “On-Site is changing the landscape of apartment leasing and we wanted to impact the landscape of Campbell with a mural that reflects the city’s unique heritage.”
Appropriately, the On-Site headquarters, on which the mural is painted, occupies what was once the Sunsweet building, in which local laborers dried and packed fruit before loading it onto steam locomotives like the Jupiter, destined for markets throughout the country. Sunsweet closed the plant in 1971 and it was converted to a rock-and-roll bar called the Bodega, which hosted artists like Joe Cocker, Eddie Money, Pat Benetar and the Doobie Brothers until it closed in 1982. On-Site purchased the landmark building in March 2011, relocating its 135 employees from Mountain View.
Regarding the creation of the On-Site art piece, Andrew commented that it was the largest mural he’s ever created and that the location presented a unique challenge. “A complication of this project was that the space directly in front of the mural is a parking lot,” Johnstone said. “The ideal viewing position is from passing by on the road. This meant that a geometric technique called ‘anamorphic projection’ had to be employed where the painted image is distorted unless the viewer occupies a particular vantage point.” The ideal viewing spot is on Central Ave. heading south, outside Café Campbell.
At the unveiling ceremony, Andrew likened Tom to a modern day Medici, the Italian family of antiquity that helped foster the Italian Renaissance by commissioning works of art from famed artists Donatello, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. This reporter cannot wait to see what other public works may be in store from Campbell’s newest benefactor.
On-Site is teaching the real estate industry something Apple and Google learned years ago: usability is king. At On-Site, that means bringing the apartment industry up to speed with what today’s consumer expects from an online experience. Conveniently and securely, we allow today’s renter to find an available apartment, qualify and pay for it and then e-sign the lease. Our 100% paperless listing-to-lease platform encompasses marketing, lead generation, risk mitigation, document storage, mobile solutions and cloud computing services. Founded in 1999, the company has been voted Best Resident Screening Service three years in a row and its paperless office platform was a finalist in the First Annual Green Initiatives Awards from Multi-Housing News.