Working with artist Thomas Sayre on the Clearscapes design, the Garner Veterans Memorial was the first large scale “Earthcast” project that Lucas Concrete Products, Inc. has ever completed.   The product required LCP to shut down the facility for several days before and after casting as to not cross contaminate other projects with the red clay.

More boys and young men from North Carolina fought and died in the American Civil War than any other state in the Confederacy. The local veterans association in Garner, North Carolina, wanted to honor the ultimate sacrifice of all local soldiers lost in conflicts in a memorial that would give visitors an emotional connection with the fallen warriors. Garner Veterans Memorial’s architecture achieves the shared objective.

The project was designed by Clearscapes, an architectural design firm in Raleigh, N.C., to honor Garner area veterans since the country’s beginning in 1776. Each of the 37 concrete wall panels was individually molded and poured utilizing an “earthcasting” technique that was tested and developed by Thomas Sayre, who has pioneered casting concrete structures from local soils. Working with Lucas Concrete Products, Inc. (Charlotte, N.C.), the team tamped about 40,000 lb. of local clay, broke the compacted clay into clods, and packed it into molds to create the texture of broken ground. The texture represents freshly tilled farmland from where these men and boys worked with their hands. The concrete was then pigmented with iron oxide to match the local clay soil. In contrast, the concrete benches and paving were acid-etched to impart a smooth, non-directional surface. The honed Mt. Airy granite wall panels and the engraved brick pavers were also chosen as North Carolina materials.

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