Lasting Impression

Committee to choose from
11 Legacy Gift proposals

Bicentennial to commit $250,000
toward establishing winning idea

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

February 2009 Indiana Edition Cover

February 2009
Indiana Edition Cover

(February 2009) – If every project proposed for the Madison Bicentennial Celebration Committee’s Legacy Gift project was completed, Madison, Ind., would be teaming with activities, visual attractions, a museum and even a performing arts theater. Eleven proposals were submitted to the Legacy Gift Committee, which has earmarked $250,000 to establish the winning project. The committee that will choose the winning project includes Joe Carr, executive director of the Jefferson County Historical Society; Corey Murphy, executive director of Economic Development Partners of Jefferson County; Harold Lakeman, Madison City Parks Director; Ken Gibson, director of the Hanover College Library; and Ashley Hanson Schutte, a board member of the Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County.
The deadline for submitting proposals was Jan. 9. The Madison Bicentennial will be celebrated June 6-14 with a 200-hour “Old Home Week” full of activities.
The Madison Bicentennial Celebration Committee is hoping to present a lifetime Legacy Gift to the city. During the city’s Centennial Celebration, the Broadway Fountain was brought to Madison as a legacy gift and has become an enduring symbol of the city.
“My hope is that all of these great ideas don’t die just because they are chosen for this project,” said Jan Vetrhus, chairperson of the Madison Bicentennial Committee.
Vetrhus said the idea for the Legacy Gift has been discussed since the early days of the Bicentennial planning. “When you go to a birthday party, you bring a gift,” she said.

Madison Bicentennial Logo

Legacy Gift Project
A subcommittee of the Madison Bicentennial Committee plans to select from 11 proposals a project that will stand as a Legacy Gift long after the city’s June 6-14 celebration. The Bicentennial Committee has pledged to commit $250,000 toward establishing the winning project. No date has been set to announce the winning proposal.

To inquire about this process, contact chairman Joe Carr at (812) 265-2335 or email: jchs@seidata.com.

“Well, we were thinking along those lines.”
She said the decision for the project will be announced prior to the June 7 “Roaring ‘20s Gala,” which will be a fundraiser event for the gift.
“At this point, fundraising in general is going well, despite the economic conditions,” said Vetrhus. “We are getting ready to go into our second stage of fundraising, and everything is looking up.”
Madison Mayor Tim Armstrong said he has seen many of the proposals and hoped that whatever is chosen will remain as a lasting tribute. “I’d like to see something that will remind people of our Bicentennial for many years to come – something like the Broadway Fountain, which remains as a lasting symbol of Madison.”
The city will play a part in selecting the winner, since its work crews will likely be responsible for maintaining it, Armstrong said.
Carr, who serves as chairperson of the Legacy Gift Committee, said a date has not been set to announce the winning proposal. “We are still working through them,” he said.
“The city also has to analyze each proposal and work on a cost analysis and other issues before we decide which idea would work best.” The city staff is working with the Madison Bicentennial Committee in a public-private partnership on the Legacy Gift project.

Joe Carr

‘It is certainly going to be a tough choice...’
– Legacy Gift committee chairman
Joe Carr

Jan Vetrhus

‘When you go to a birthday party, you
bring a gift.’
– Bicentennial chairperson
Jan Vetrhus

Mayor Tim Armstrong

‘I’d like to see something that will remind people of our Bicentennial
for many years to come.’
– Madison Mayor Tim Armstrong

“It is certainly going to be a tough choice because all of the proposals bring something valid and important to the table,” said Carr. “Many of them were well thought out and interesting. We certainly would value public input on this project. We will use any comments we receive on each project to help us shape our decision.”
Murphy, the county’s economic development director, said, “I am impressed with the work and time that was put into these proposals by the various groups. This is an opportunity to create something that will complement the strengths of Madison and the larger community. Just like the Broadway Fountain is a site that residents and visitors alike flock to for enjoyment, we have an opportunity for the same thing in the Legacy Gift.”
The 11 proposals vary in type and scope. Here’s a description of each:
• Indiana Veterans War Memorial. The gift would be located at the Indiana Veterans Memorial Ceme-tery on Madison’s hilltop. The memorial would honor men and women in the state and local area who have served in the military. It would provide a visual means for future generations to understand the service and sacrifice veterans of all ages have given. It would tie the local community with veterans who served from the area and entire state and draw tourists from across the state to observe the memorial. The monument would be a series of black polished panels created by Searcy Monuments of Carrollton, Ky. Maintenance costs have been included in the budget for the project, and additional funds could be generated through donations or through the selling of bricks with veterans’ names on them.
• Splash Park with “Spirit of the River” sculpture. A proposed splash park along the riverfront was part of the original plans for Madison Bicentennial Park. This proposal would continue that idea and add an 8-foot or 10-foot sculpture in bronze or limestone. If chosen, Clark Design Limited of Terre Haute, Ind., would be contracted for the sculpture.
• Heritage Trail Bridge over Crooked Creek. In this proposal, an historic bridge would be reconstructed over Crooked Creek with a viewing area that will allow hikers on the Heritage Trail of Madison to enjoy a panoramic view of the area. The Heritage Trail of Madison is already in possession of the bridge but needs funding to reconstruct it.
• Madison Square Park featuring the Irene Dunne Sculpture Garden, amphitheatre and stage. This proposal would be a memorial tribute to Irene Dunne, the Hollywood star who grew up in Madison. Dunne, known as the “First Lady of Hollywood,” had 22-year film career spanning the 1930s-40s, starring in more than 40 movies. She was nominated five times for an Academy Award as Best Actress but never won. As one of the most famous citizens of the community, this memorial would become a magnet for tourists and fans of Dunne. If selected, sculptor David Ross Stevens will create a bronze of Dunne.
• Madison Riverfront Historical Storyboard – A Walking Tour of Our Heritage. This proposal suggests creating five vertical black granite panels and five horizontal panels to be situated along the river walk on Vaughn Drive. The panels, which would have information in 20-25 year increments, would provide a synopsis of Madison’s heritage in a concise, yet visually inviting format where citizens and visitors could enjoy the beauty of the riverfront while participating in a walking tour. Panels could continue to be added as history unfolds. The long-term sustainability costs of the project would be low, and panels could be sold to individuals or corporations as a way to raise funds for future additions.
• Arts Venue. The former Antiques on Main building for sale at 129 E. Main St. has been proposed as an ideal location for an arts venture, particularly for performing arts. A first-floor theater could be used by community groups, including churches, social organizations, professional theater groups and area schools.
Upper floors could house rehearsal and storage space or could be used for workshops and lectures. The basement could be used as office space or a costume shop. History through drama could be one of the many educational purposes the arts venue has.

Spirit of the River

This rendition shows
what the “Spirit of
the River” sculpture
would look like if
it is selected as the
Legacy Gift to the city.

• River Cliff Park. This project will save and open to the public 10 undeveloped acres along Madison’s western riverfront. That area will be the primary building block for “River Cliff Park,” which will eventually extend up the Madison Railroad incline and include the Heritage Trail of Madison and the historic Cat Steps leading up to the Madison State Hospital. The park will connect the Madison River walk Project that runs along Vaughn Drive to the Heritage Trail of Madison and the other historic trails being developed in the area. An education center to explain the interrelations of river life and the railroad is part of the future plans for the park.
• Interpretive Center and satellite pocket parks with kiosks. The Interpretive Center would be located in Madison Bicentennial Park, while pocket parks would be at designated locations throughout the community. Each kiosk would explain community history or accomplishments and would direct people to pocket parks throughout the community for additional and expanded information. Example history topics could include the founding of Madison, the history of the Underground Railroad in the area, the history of Madison Railroad and the history of firefighting. Examples of pocket park locations could include John Paul Park, the Madison Railroad Terminal, Eleutherian College and the Lanier State Historic Site.

Georgetown Memorial Park

This rendition depicts the proposal
for a Georgetown Memorial Park
and Walnut Street green space.

• Georgetown Memorial Park and Walnut Street green space. A building at 918 N. Walnut St. could be acquired and turned into a memorial to commemorate heroic actions of the Georgetown area citizens during the 19th century as they assisted enslaved African-Americans escape to freedom. The site would highlight the accomplishments of ordinary citizens, including African-Americans, and their sacrifices for the abolishment of slavery in the United States.
• Classic Carrousel. A classic amusement park ride would be placed in Madison Bicentennial Park and could be used as a way for the City of Madison to generate income. The carrousel has been a popular attraction at carnivals and theme parks for generations, and all ages of people can enjoy riding on one.

John Paul Park Plaque

File photo by Don Ward

Madison’s John Paul
Park would see
some stabilization
work between the
plateau and the
lower park area in
one proposal.

• John Paul Park Hill Stabilization Project. In line with the heritage and history of Madison, John Paul Park represents the city and community as a place to gather together, hold concerts and play ball. The park was the first public park in Madison. Some stabilization work between the Plateau and Lower area needs to be completed.
Mayor Armstrong envisions a Legacy Gift that will attract people to a place where they can enjoy it, similar to the park-like setting that exists today at the Broadway Fountain.
The Broadway fountain was designed by J.P. Victor Andre, a French sculptor employed by the Janes, Kirtland Iron Co. of Morrisianna, N.Y., (now the Bronx). During its heyday, the company, which is credited with the design, creation and placement of the Capital Dome in Washington, D.C., was one of the country’s major foundries. The fountain originally appeared in the company’s catalog, labeled simply “No. 5.” It was offered for $2,500.
The fountain is 26.6 feet high and 35.6 feet wide with two basins and a reflecting pool. The top basin features a maiden; the second basin features two large birds. The base of the fountain is surrounded by four horn-blowing tritons. Several ornamental urns sit along the top wall of the reflecting pool. The fountain has been repaired or recast three times over the years, the last time in 2004.
Although considered a local landmark, the fountain has not always belonged in Madison. It first appeared in the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, where it was exhibited in the Agricultural Nave. The fountain came to grace Madison’s Broadway Street in 1886, thanks to an organization known as the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The Odd Fellows purchased the fountain several years after the Exposition closed and presented it as a gift to the city of Madison.

• Learn more about the Bicentennial events at: www.MadisonBicentennial.com.

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