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Livermore Peace Monument Committee Report 1983

 

The Livermore Peace Monument Committee was formed in early 1982 in response to the moving letter by Leon Smith, which was brought to the City Council by his widow, Blanche. Leon requested that a monument to peace be erected in the City Square.

The Committee was charged with recommending a monument and site to the Council. The monument was to be built with public contributions on a site provided by the City.

I became Chairperson in August 1983. A considerable amount of work had already been done by many, Blanche Smith and Lois Hill in particular.

Much discussion of what the peace monument should be had already occurred. Some saw the monument as a park or a grove of trees, while others envisioned a bell tower or a fountain, a realistic structure or an abstract sculpture. It was finally decided that a sculpture would be most appropriate.

Blanche Smith, Chairperson of the Site sub-committee, made several visits to the available sites that were shown to us by Lee Horner. It was decided with enthusiastic concurrence by Don Homan, to choose the grassy site directly in front of the entrance to the Livermore Library. The Monument would be situated to the rear of the grassy flat area, in front of the trees. Several sculptors and their agents had already been contacted and presentations made to the Committee. We had received several estimates from various sources ranging as high as $ 80,000. The S.F. Commission for Public Art informed me that this was not an unreasonable price for a sculpture.

Another large problem we still faced was the fact that each member had his or her own idea as to what the monument should look like. However, our problem was solved at the Sept. meeting when Don Homan, who had been earnestly assisting the Sculpture Committee chaired by Delpha Chesterman, was invited to present his model. Those of us present at the meeting became immediately enthused and since that time the model has been shown to many with universally positive responses.

Our most difficult problem was almost overcome when Don Homan generously offered to donate his services. This kind offer enabled us to develop a very modest budget of approximately $ 5500. There will be no cost to the City. The Committee has filed for Tax Exempt Status which has not yet been received.

Don Homan, a Lab employee and esteemed artist, built his solar home in the Livermore Hills. He received his inspiration for the monument there and at the Library site. In fact, the lower structure represents the Livermore hills which Don views as very peaceful. The taller flame-like structure forms the second part of the monument. Don said he used two structures because it requires at least 2 to make peace.

The taller structure will be about 10ft. tall. The lower will be about 6 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide. It is hoped that children will utilize the lower structure.

The backbone of the structures will be constructed from heavy 4x8 timbers, with cross sections of plywood that attach onto the timbers, The outer layer will be teak, the type that is used on boat decks. The teak will be laid in strips to create curves. Vents will be included to permit air to circulate. The structures will be mounted with 12" long, L-shaped bolts onto a concrete slab.

The monument itself is portable but the concrete slab will have to be rebuilt, if it becomes necessary to move the monument. In conclusion: There are many people to thank but we would like to particularly acknowledge John Stein, Lee Horner, Carolyn Foote, Muriel Doggett and Dale Turner. I'm especially grateful to Barry Schrader for his excellent ideas; Lois Hill for her support and advice and Sandy Hirshen who was consistently available for advice and also came to review the sites. Sandy was the former Chair of the School of Architecture in Berkeley and designed the Multi Service Center. Finally, thanks to the City Council for having the heart to make Leon's dream a reality. The dream will benefit us all.


Respectfully submitted

Celia Baker

Chairperson Oct 19, 1983


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