A committee interested in building a memorial to Delaware native Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th president of the United States, approved the final designs for the project.
OHM Advisors, an architect firm in Columbus, presented its designs at Thursday’s special meeting in City Hall. The memorial, which would be placed at the corner of Sandusky and William streets next to Amato’s restaurant, features a slender Hayes sculpture standing on a podium with his left hand slightly in his coat pocket, while carrying a top hat in the other hand.
“It looks presidential,” said committee member Ric Stranges, principal of Delaware Hayes High School.
“Very stately,” said Jackie Walker, city assistant manager.
Committee chairman Gene Buckingham said the memorial will be a focal point for the city .
“It’s going to be what the downtown Delaware is going to be about,” he said.
Other features of the memorial include a presidential seal located underneath the sculpture on the podium. Behind the sculpture is a granite water table with fountains to include educational components. The eight pillars of the fountain will represent the other presidents from Ohio. There will be an informational wall, which will include an encased American flag.
OHM Advisors said the project would cost $392,517.31. The committee discussed ideas to raise funding now that the final design was completed.
Project costs do not include the $5,000 fee for OHM’s design, but the committee has already secured those funds, including: $2,000 from the county; $720 from the Delaware Historical Society’s Hayes tours downtown; $400 from committee members; and $350 from committee member Jack Hilborn’s company, Hilborn Insurance.
Walker said the committee could apply for a community program grant from the city. The grant is for nonprofits, but the committee would be considered a “pseudo-nonprofit” because it’s raising funds through the Delaware County Foundation, she said.
“We now have some beautiful renderings that will be in your tool belt” to raise funds, Walker told members.
Committee member Bill McCarty said donations can be expected from Hayes’ descendants.
And Hilborn said the committee should check to see how funds were raised for recently-completed local memorial projects. Councilman Joe DiGenova, 3rd-Ward, said the committee should reach out to Hayes High School alumni.
Additionally, residents can make donations to the project, Buckingham said. Donations have to be sent to the DCF.
“I think it’s an opportunity for the Delaware community to get involved,” he said.