A Monumental Accomplishment
Have you ever noticed those handsome urn-and-column markers at the major entrances to Morningside-Lenox Park? They didn't just sprout there after a rain. Instead, the markers stand there because of the hard work of many of our neighbors. In this article we want to remember who those neighbors are and what they did for all of us.
The Monument Project started in 1989 and concluded in 1991, ten years ago this year. It was inspired by Ivey and Crook, the architects who had designed Lenox Park in the 1920s. Those founders had placed columns throughout the Lenox Park neighborhood, four of which remained in various states of disrepair. MLPA felt that placing similar markers at the street entrances to the neighborhood would establish a strong visual identity for Morningside as a whole.
The one intact column was located at 878 Plymouth Road, much overgrown. It was decided to disassemble the survivor and faithfully duplicate its air of historic authenticity. Eleven new markers would join the four refurbished ones, with a new plaque being designed by graphic artist and resident Barbara Gellner..
The Monument Committee consisted of Jon Carlsten, Rick Flynn, David Robertson, Gail Ronan, Bill Russell, and Ben Wauford. Their first step was to get indemnification from the city for legal issues because the markers are placed on private property. Helping out with the legal concerns were Atlanta City Councilmember Mary Davis, Charles Huddleston, David McAlister, Jeff Petrillo and Gail Ronan.
The next step was raising the money, seeing as new markers cost about $4000 each and repaired ones about $2000 each. Some fundraising was held through the newsletter but most of it was done door-to-door. Individuals and businesses donated work and materials. Major sponsors were: Kevin and Mary Brown; Barry Doss; Metzler/Muirhead, Inc. of Greystone; David Michud; and Zac Pasnanick.
MLPA fundraising surpassed wildest expectations. The new urns and crown caps were cast by Architectural Ornamental Castings of Decatur; non-violent offenders in the Federal Probations program contributed their construction skills; and the new and refurbished columns went up!
Morningside-Lenox Park was a trailblazer for neighborhoods wanting to put up markers. Today these columns unite several smaller neighborhoods into an association of over 3,000 homes. A monumental effort, the Monument Project succeeded in its goal to create "a traditional monument that looked as though it had been in the neighborhood forever and would last forever."
Editor's note: Do you know where all the MLPA monuments are located? If you are stumped, see the Walking Tour map to find each monuments location.
by Susan Drake
First published in the Summer 2001 Issue of the MLPA Newsletter
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