Andrew Young Tribute

Submitted by Curtis Patterson

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Client: City of Atlanta

Location: Atlanta, United States

Completion date: 2008

Artwork budget: $1,500,000

Project Team

Artist

Curtis Patterson

P&S Metal Works

Landscape Architect

Leo Alvarez

EDAW

Other

Curtis Patterson II

P&S Metal Works

Overview

The Andrew Young Tribute project was designed to honor the life, historic accomplishments and legacy of Ambassador Andrew Young. The nearly half acre sculpture and park was commissioned by Charles Loudermilk Sr., and donated to the City of Atlanta. The sculpture is fabricated from commercial bronze, obsidian & rose granite and glass. The site’s nucleus is a 20ft obelisk surrounded by a 1017 sq-ft bronze plaza with a tapestry of engraved motifs. It includes quotations by Ambassador Young etched in glass panels integral to an arc-linear granite wall; indicative of the barriers oppressed people faced in the pursuit of equality.

Goals

Central Atlanta Progress orchestrated the beginnings of the project with funding donor, Charles Loudermilk, by setting four core goals for integrating the commissioned artwork and Walton Spring Park area:
1. Create a site to pay tribute and homage to Ambassador Andrew Young and his many achievements both civic and civil.
2. Develop a high profile venue with pedestrian access and visual access from vehicular traffic.
3. Create a sculpture and park complimentary of the downtown Atlanta environment.
4. Acquire a durable long lasting sculpture and park design with low sustainability requirements.
Once selected for the commission, our team developed and met key objectives to ensure the original goals of the commissioning body were met. They included: 1) Create a park environment and integral artwork as a gesture of respect for Ambassador Young’s life-long accomplishments as well as reverberate his tenants of peaceful coexistence. 2) Render an iconic design to readily attract pedestrians 3) Develop a sculpture that would connect with the surrounding urban design and environment. 4) Utilize high durability materials such as bronze, granite and glass to maximize longevity of the piece. The integration and realization of these objectives was extremely critical to the success of the overall design.

Process

The Andrew Young Tribute project was a collaborative endeavor supported by a cross-functional team which I led in the 2006-2008 timeframe. The team consisted of Leo Alvarez, Architect of landscape architectural firm EDAW based in Atlanta, Georgia, Project Engineer and my son, Curtis Patterson II, as well as a water fountain and lighting engineer, a general contractor, and a heavy lift installation crew. I worked in conjunction with the architectural firm to create an invitational venue with ease of ingress and egress for pedestrians, including those with disabilities. I supported planning and coordination meetings with the Central Atlanta Progress agency which Ambassador Andrew Young also attended. My son and I were responsible for the sculpture fabrication planning and facilitated the majority of fabrication of the piece in my Atlanta based studio. We coordinated closely with external vendors for support of select fabrication processes such as engraving and water jetting. Throughout the fabrication cycle we maintained close coupled collaboration with the landscape architectural firm and provided the City of Atlanta and Mr. Loudermilk with regular updates on progress and in studio milestone reviews. All goals and objectives for the project were met including on time delivery and completion within budget.

Additional Information

This was a wonderful commission. I particularly enjoyed working with my son, Curtis Patterson ll, project engineer, the EDAW team, Chief Architect, Leo Alvarez, and the contracted installation support team. The obelisk features four equidistant integral waterfalls symbolic of the power of non-violence over hatred. The Andrew Young Tribute was completed on schedule and within budget. Both Ambassador Young and Mr. Loudermilk expressed their gratitude for the piece. It was, also, well received by the Central Atlanta Progress agency and the community. There were several newspaper articles confirming its success. Attendees at its dedication echoed their sentiments.