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Athens-Clarke County Veterans Memorial Plaza Committee collection

 Collection — Box: 1, Folder: 1-29
Collection number: MSS-034

Scope and Contents

The collection contains meeting minutes, concept sketches, speeches, correspondence, programs, photographs, press releases, and other documents related to the funding and construction of the Athens-Clarke County Veterans Memorial Plaza, including information about the veterans honored by the plaza and the designer of the plaza, Brian Kent.


  • 1985-1990

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection has no restrictions. This collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required. Apply in the Heritage Room for access.

Biographical / Historical

In 1984, the Clarke County Board of Commissioners began planning to build an annex and parking deck for the Clarke County Courthouse, both to meet the needs of a growing population and to alleviate the demand for downtown parking. The Athens Veterans Memorial Fund Committee sought to include a memorial in the project. Athens had memorials to honor those who served in the American Revolution and the Civil War, but not for soldiers in the wars of the Twentieth Century. The Board agreed, October, 1985, to provide a site for the memorial in the space between the expanded Courthouse and the parking deck.

The Memorial Fund committee created rules for a design competition and selected a jury of local Purple Heart recipients to choose the best ten designs. From these ten, the committee selected the three finalists: Brian Kent; Darci Heil and Shane Shook; and David Lunde, John Threadgill, and Horace Farlowe. After reviewing the artwork and models for each proposal, in May, 1986, they chose Brian Kent's proposal. Kent is a graduate of Cedar Shoals High School and the University of Georgia’s School of Environmental Design. The committee launched a fund-raising campaign for the memorial. Among the events held during the campaign were a bicycle ride organized by Sunshine Cycle Shop, a radiothon, and a Veterans Day banquet. While the campaign fostered public interest and generated funds sufficient to cover roughly one-third of the construction costs, estimates of the memorial plaza’s costs were higher than expected; the County ultimately covered the rest of the costs.

The memorial was dedicated with a parade, May 25, 1990. Tommy Clack, wounded in Vietnam, gave the memorial address. Veterans from four wars served as grand marshals for a parade leading to the ceremony. From the First World War, John L. Silbereisen, Navy; Arthur Johnson, Sr., Army; Robert Lee Van Barcom, Navy. From the Second World War, Major H. Randolph Holder, Army. From the Korean War, George Smith, Army. From the Vietnam War, Lee Ellis, Air Force.


.42 Linear Feet (One full legal document box)


Materials detailing the planning and fund-raising work of the Athens-Clarke County Veterans Memorial Plaza Committee.


This collection is organized in a single series.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Athens-Clarke County Veterans Memorial Plaza Committee; Beth Abney

Related Materials

Tommie LaCavera, a member of the committee as well as a published author and noted citizen, created a scrapbook of the Committee's work. It constitutes its own collection, the Athens-Clarke County Veterans Memorial Plaza scrapbook (MSS 022).

The Committee records contain several editorials by H. Randolph Holder, owner of radio station WGAU. More of his editorials can be found in the H. Randolph Holder collection (MSS 011).

Physical Description


Athens-Clarke County Veterans Memorial Plaza Committee collection
Jennifer Sirotkin, Justin Kau
October 2016, December 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Heritage Room, Athens-Clarke County Library Repository

2025 Baxter Street
Athens GA 30606