Monday, May 26, 2008

Sweet Freedom

These images are from the Alabama Veteran's Memorial located in Birmingham. Allen was the superintendent for the job and I worked on this one a little. If you live here in Alabama I would encourage you to make a trip here and if you are ever passing through our fair state it is worth a side trip to see. It is out in the middle of the woods in a very serene setting. It consist of this courtyard with these large concrete columns which are embedded with artwork, letters and the stories of Alabama's Medal of Honor recipients. My first and only public sculpture is here.

Then there is the 'temple' part which has the names of all Alabamians lost to war engraved on the walls. It's a fairly simple design but very striking. Allen took Fred to see it (Fred was in the Navy) a few weeks ago and took these photos. The walls of the temple are solid 2' thick concrete. In fact, there is more concrete in this job than I have seen poured on some much larger sites. If I remember correctly, just that center beam of concrete in the ceiling (that has the rounded bottom) weighed around 90 tons.
The outside of the temple has some vines growing on it, per the architectural firm, and really gives the place a feeling of timelessness. You can sort of make it out in the background.
They have almost filled all the spaces on the walls with names. It would be great if there was never any reason to add more.

*Micheal McDonald


Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Itr is an unusual and striking memorial. Does it include civil war dead?

edifice rex said...

No, it does not Philip and from what I understand, the foundation that started this project recieved quite a bit of flak about that. This area is still very inundated with Civil War activities and historians.

Anonymous said...

Hi again ER.

I wish too with all my heart there would never be reason to add another name, sadly mankind has lost its way and I suspect we will see many names added to many memorials all over the world until we learn the value of human life.


Floridacracker said...

That is a uniquely impressive memorial.

Do you walk around structures like that picturing the construction process?
I figure your brain is always working out how something was built since you are an expert.
And don't even try to be humble ... you are clearly an expert.

edifice rex said...

Hey Molly! Yeah, you are probably correct, sadly enough.

Hey FC! Yes, stark is a good description. The somberness of the place really hits home when you are there. Well, thanks so much (I'm blushing) but I don't consider myself even close to being an expert. When I see a building that is unusual or striking then I do contemplate how it was built, yes. Partly why this one is so cool to me is that I do know how and what all is there that you can't see. For instance, there is an 18" thick concrete slab with 3 steel mats in it under those concrete columns. It is covered with about 2 feet of red gravel though so no one suspects anything. The steel within the columns extends down and ties into the 3 steel mats in that slab for support. And contained within the walls of the temple is a very elaborate stainless steel drainage system, welded in place by yours truly, that no one will ever see!