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OCA’s Public Art Team Repairs Summerhill Memorial

The “Heritage Park Memorial” Repair from Start(Left) to Finish(Right).


The City of Atlanta, Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs’ (OCA) Conservation and Maintenance Team recently repaired a damaged section of granite on the “Heritage Park Memorial”.

Created in 1996 by Georgia Institute of Technology architecture professors Stuart Romm, Frederick Pearsall, and Harris Dimitropoulos, the installation is located on a prominent point within Heritage Park in Atlanta’s Summerhill neighborhood. The archway, and its adjacent plaza, overlooks downtown Atlanta and Georgia State Stadium (formerly Turner Field) and serves as a monument to Summerhill’s founders and a gateway to the community.

Since its installation, years of erosion have deteriorated the artwork’s waterproofing along the top of the archway. The 20-plus years of sediment and debris buildup, along with pressure and temperature changes, caused the bottom, right granite tile to break.

Shannon Douglas Kimbro, OCA’s Conservation and Maintenance Manager, with the assistance of Black Galaxy Marble and Granite, removed the broken panel. The Conservation and Maintenance team then extracted the sediment and debris buildup inside the structure. The debris was then recycled to fill in erosion on the right side of the arch.

The broken tile was repaired with a similar quality granite, and the newly installed tile was sealed with a silicone mixture to match the artwork’s existing grout. The archway was then cleaned and polished.

The next phase of the project will include repairing the artwork’s waterproofing to protect the sculpture from encountering similar damage in the future and restoring the adjacent plaza.