First Look: Mendocino Triple Junction Bench

There’s another new bench on the Hikashari Trail!

Kyle and Amber Schlagenhauf have designed and set up the “Mendocino Triple Junction Bench” on the southern part of the Hikshari Trail.

See below for exclusive information, video, and pictures.

About the artists:

Kyle and Amber Schlagenhauf are a husband and wife, design/build team working in the construction industry, specializing in stonework. Together they own and operate Green Man Builders. Amber is a graduate of HSU in Art History and has an MA in culture, ecology and sustainable communities. Kyle is a veteran of the coast guard and served his country working on the USCGC Acushnet, a seagoing tugboat stationed in Eureka.

Over the last 20 years, they have worked together on many rewarding legacy construction projects. Their passion has become creating public spaces. It has manifested in the creation of a children’s playground at a preschool, an drystone amphitheater at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, the Bolinas Downtown Park, The Safety Plaza in San Francisco, the Japanese Castle wall at the Portland Japanese Gardens and most recently the Mendocino Triple Junction Bench located on the Hikshari trail in Eureka.

Public spaces are for everyone. They enable individuals to become a community, vital to the identity of where we live, work and play. Providing a space for people to gather, sit, contemplate, communicate, rest or enjoy their surroundings holds a universal value for all. Kyle and Amber are grateful for the opportunities to contribute to the creation of public spaces and will continue to pursue building community through placemaking.

About the bench


Awarded the commission by the city of Eureka to create an interactive bench representing the Mendocino Triple Junction, we began our research. Consulting with local geologist Bob McPherson who shared diagrams and talked rock. We developed our design based on the seismic activity and resulting geologic formations of our dynamic region.

The Mendocino Triple Junction is an area off the coast of Cape Mendocino, west of the town of Petrolia. One of the most seismically active regions of the continental U.S, it is where the North American, Pacific, and Gorda plates meet. It is also one of the only places on earth where three plates converge near the shore.

Three regional stones were selected to interpret the tectonic relationship of the three plates. The North American plate is represented by granite and is the backrest of the bench. Granite is a light-colored igneous rock with grains large enough to be visible with the unaided eye. It forms from the slow crystallization of magma below Earth’s surface and is the most common rock type of continental land masses. Divided by the San Andreas Fault, the North American plate slides south, while the Pacific plate slides north. The Pacific Plate, which is represented by schist, is a metamorphic blue/green stone and is one side of the bench seat. Metamorphic rocks are formed when other rocks are changed due to heat and pressure often due to seismic activity along subduction zones and then pushed back up to the earths surface. The other side of the bench seat is created using basalt and represents the Gorda Plate. The Gorda plate is plunging below the North American Plate at the Cascadian subduction zone. Basalt is an extrusive igneous rock which is dark in color and tight grained because it cools quickly near the surface of the earth’s crust. Basalt makes up most of the ocean floor.

Where the North American (granite), Pacific (schist), and Gorda(basalt) plates intersect is interpreted as the Mendocino Triple Junction. Take a seat, relax, enjoy the view, and for a moment you will experience the result of the seismic activity that has shaped the geology of our rural landscape.

To see all bench art posts, follow this link.

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