21 September 2015
Marion, IN (September 21, 2015) – A Monument in a Park Like Setting will be dedicated at 4th & McClure Streets in Marion, Indiana where James Dean was born on February 8, 1931.
In March of 2013 Main Street Marion director Loretta Walker contacted David Loehr at The James Dean Gallery to ask if he would be interested in helping to get a memorial dedicated in Marion at the Birth Site of James Dean.
There had been a bronze star in the sidewalk and a rock with a plaque at that location that were dedicated by the Marion Quarterback Club in 1980 with Martin Sheen in attendance as special guest.
The Main Street Marion organization wanted to have a memorial of a larger stature erected and dedicated.
David Loehr agreed to get involved with the project and came up with a simple, yet appropriate and tasteful design. The idea was shopped around with the hopes of finding donors to put up the funding needed to construct the tribute. The project was going nowhere when suddenly at the beginning of this year the perfect team of people got together and within a few weeks the project started moving forward rather quickly.
The team which includes Halstead Architects, Bowman Construction, local businessman Jim Sutter, and representatives of Main Street Marion worked together closely with weekly meetings. The architectural firm took the simple pencil sketches that David Loehr provided and transformed them into the computer generated renderings shown here.
The group is now working in conjunction with The Grant County Convention and Visitors Bureau and The Community Foundation of Grant County in finalizing plans to have the memorial constructed.
The focal point of the memorial will be a six foot tall black granite monument which will be etched on the front with an image of The Seven Gables Apartment House where Dean was born, a baby picture and an adult Rebel Without a Cause picture. The etching will be done by the talented Butch Bays who has done several different etched stones in recent years including that of Waylon Jennings. The back of the monument will be etched with a brief biography of James Dean.
The monument will sit on a 22 foot cement base with three rounded concrete benches representing Eden, Rebel and Giant. Seven cypress trees will serve as a backdrop and represents the Seven Gables Apartment House.
The existing rock in the sidewalk with the bronze plaque will be incorporated into the new brick walled flower area along with the new illuminated sign. The original bronze star will remain in the sidewalk at the corner.
The project is scheduled for completion this summer with the official dedication at 6pm on September 30th. Bestselling author Pamela DesBarres will act as hostess, and will introduce the other guest speakers.
RSVP and learn more at the event's official Facebook page here.