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Monument Design Group artists (left to right) Hanna Jubran, Jodi Hollnagel Jubran, and Glenn Eure worked collaboratively from Eure's original concept for a flight centennial monument to come up with the design for the Monument to a Century of Flight.

Project Launch
After four years of development work, in the late spring of 2003, Bill Kealy, Icarus International Board President, signs contracts officially launching Monument to a Century of Flight. Monument Committee Chair, Peggy Birkemeier, and Icarus Treasurer, Don Bryan, played key roles in development and in project implementation.

The official Groundbreaking for the Monument to a Century of Flight was held on June 17, 2003, at the site in Kitty Hawk. Dare County, NC, and Town of Kitty Hawk officials joined in the dedication of ground for a sculptural monument celebrating flight.

At the ceremonial shovels were (left to right) Icarus Monument Committee Chair, Peggy Birkemeier; Chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, Warren Judge; 2003 Vice Chairman of the Dare County Tourism Board, Tim Cafferty; Icarus President, Bill Kealy; Mayor of Kitty Hawk, Bill Harris; and Billy Roughton, who with his wife Mildred gifted the land on which the Monument stands.
Even as the gold tipped shovels went into the sand,the general contractor, Wimco Construction, waited to offload construction materials and equipment. Site Supervisor Bruce Hendrix's dedication and enthusiasm will see the project from initial site preparation to installing the dedication ribbon. Architect Benjamin Cahoon will coordinate with the contractors and the artists.

Site Preparation
Construction gets underway as footings for the Monument's fourteen pylons are laid. Concrete is transported in buckets by crane to the top of the high dune. Glenn Eure, grabs a shovel and gets in the act (center). The inside concrete foundation for the brick courtyard and platform for a center bronze dome are poured.

While site work is underway in Kitty Hawk, the Monument's fourteen pylons are fabricated by the Jubrans at their Grimesland, NC studio. A crane is used for lifting and moving the pylon structures, which range in height from 10 feet to 20 feet and weigh from 600 to over 1,000 pounds each.
Hanna Jubran demonstrates the sanding pattern that will be used on the stainless steel pylons as Donald W. Bryan, then Icarus Treasurer and in 2004 President of Icarus, looks on. At Grimesland, Jodi Hollnagel Jubran creates the clay sculpture from which the Jubrans cast the bronze center dome for the Monument.

In the workshop of Parker Monuments in Knightdale, NC, Frank Parker prepares 2 x 6 foot black granite panels which will be installed on the faces of the pylons and inscribes language chronicling one hundred of the most significant events in aviation in its first century. Charles Pulley assists him. In late August in Elberton, Georgia, images drawn by Glenn Eure are transferred to etchings on the inscribed panels. Here Eure paints the red tail and spinner for the Tuskegee Airmen logo on the panel for the sixth pylon.

Pylon Installation
With the Monument site in Kitty Hawk now ready for installation of components, the finished pylons arrive at the site around sunset on September 12. The next morning the flatbed and crane move into position. It is an exciting moment when the first pylon is lifted, with Hanna Jubran assisting, from the truck and soars across the blue sky on its own flight to become part of the Moument to a Century of Flight. Glenn Eure awaits its arrival at the destination.

One by one the pylons travel up the hill and are lowered in a special harness to be fastened on rods put in place when the footings were laid and then welded.
Another reality interrupts the work on September 16 as Hurricane Isabel approaches the North Carolina coast and Wimco's Bruce Hendrix "boards up" the pylons that do not yet have the black granite in place. Icarus Co-Founder Denver Lindley assists.

Brick Installation
Work moves ahead as bricks and gray granite paving stones engraved by Parker Monuments and delivered to the site prior to the hurricane are installed in the courtyard. Larry Ray (shown center with Parker's Brian Ferraraccio on the left), from Parker Monuments is in charge of this phase of Monument work. Together with brick installer Arthur Haskell (right), a brick pattern is designed to adapt to the courtyard's oval shape and provide maximum strength. The initial installation includes over 3,000 bricks that have been inscribed with sponsors' names or messages.

Final Details
The Monument nears completion with placement of a black granite entrance marker. One side of the marker, prepared by Clifton & Clifton of Elizabeth City, NC, is engraved with the poem "High Flight" written by a 19-year old fighter pilot, James Magee, shortly before his death in 1941.
Near the entrance marker to the Monument, Wimco's Bruce Hendrix and Monument artist Glenn Eure install the vault for a Time Capsule to be opened in the next century by the people of 2103.
N.C. Department of Transportation's Landscape Architect, Pat Mansfield (not shown), oversaw the installation of watering systems and plants to beautify the natural setting and further stabilize the dune – including yaupon holly, wax myrtle, loblolly pine and live oak and daylilies.

Joining Poberezny in cutting the ribbon are NC State Senator and President Pro Tempore of the NC Senate, Marc Basnight; Chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, Warren Judge; Outer Banks Visitors Bureau Managing Director, Carolyn McCormick; Kitty Hawk Mayor, Bill Harris; Chairman of the NC First Flight Centennial Commission and First Flight Society, Ken Mann; and President of the Board of Directors of Icarus International, Bill Kealy.

On a windy November 8, 2003, the kind of day the Wright brothers' flyer would have flown without any problem, with over 600 in attendance and Tom Poberezny, President of the Experimental Aircraft Association, delivering the keynote address, the Monument to a Century of Flight is dedicated.

© Copyright 2007 The Town of Kitty Hawk. Site design by 8 Dot Graphics.