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On June 12, 2009, the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Plaza (ALBP) was dedicated and unveiled in Lincoln State Park. The dedication ceremony anchored a day of celebration and family fun that included music, activities, period demonstrations and the world premiere of "LINCOLN," the new theatrical experience. View photos from the event.
Ground was broken for the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Plaza (ALBP) on July 1, 2008 at Lincoln State Park in Spencer County. Construction began in September 1, 2008 and the project was unveiled on Friday, June 12, 2009. View photos from the event.
The Indiana Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission has chosen the team of Will Clark, a sculptor from Fort Wayne, and George Morrison of the Fort Wayne architectural firm of Morrison Kattman Menze, as the recipient of the Lincoln Public Art Program Grant created as part of the statewide celebration of Lincoln’s Indiana roots.
Clark and Morrison were among artists from across the state who submitted proposals to create a piece of public art or arts experience reflective of 1816 to 1830, which is when Lincoln lived in Indiana.
The project will commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday and become a permanent fixture at Lincoln State Park, which is near the homestead where Lincoln spent 14 formative years of his life, from the ages of 7 to 21.
The program has a budget of $300,000 for the creation of the chosen work, which will be installed at Lincoln State Park in 2009. The public art plaza consists of a large circular plaza punctuated with limestone pedestals signifying key milestones in Lincoln’s formative Indiana years and a twice life size bronze bust of President Lincoln.
“It will truly be a destination for visitors to Lincoln State Park,” said Connie Nass, chairperson of the Indiana Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (IALBC). “It’s educational in that it provides facts and information about Abraham’s life and his impact on the world, but it’s also fun in that there’s surprise and discovery.”
From the layout of the display to the limestone markers that express the different heights of a child growing from seven years of age to an adult, the memorial is interactive and provides a tangible experience for visitors. The setting will be on the knoll in the Oak Grove area of the park.
“It’s a beautiful location, and it will help attract people to come and learn more about Abraham Lincoln and his time in Indiana,” said Nass.
The public art project is one of several local, regional and national events and programs scheduled through February 2010 to commemorate Lincoln’s 200th birthday. Indiana’s bicentennial celebration kicks off this year on Mother’s Day weekend – May 10 and 11 – at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Spencer County. It will include a Sunday afternoon ceremony honoring Lincoln, his Indiana heritage and his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, who is buried nearby.
Lincoln State Park is located in Lincoln City in Spencer County. The 1,747-acre park was created in 1932 as a memorial to Nancy Hanks Lincoln. The park includes the historic home of Colonel Jones – Lincoln’s merchant employer – hiking trails, scenic lakes and the Sarah Lincoln Woods Nature Preserve, named after Lincoln’s sister, who is buried there.