George Merrick Pedestal and Bench

Commissioned by the Coral Gables Women’s Club, the design of a classical pedestal for a 10’ high bronze statue of the city founder and site development for the front of Coral Gables City Hall, was an exercise in restraint and creative site planning. After the loss of the pedestal with the advent of contemporary sculpture, little is known today about how to proportion, detail and site a traditional pedestal. After careful research on the subject of pedestals and documentation of the site and existing building, the pedestal was designed and constructed to work as a triadic composition with the city hall colonnade, fountain, and the overall proportions of the building. The pedestal is located to preserve important views of the building, and treat the building, sculpture, fountain and site, as a unified composition.

The project moves outward from the classical (pedestal) to the vernacular (bench). The pedestal references a Palladian Tuscan base and is made of massive pieces of coral rock. The detailing of the pedestal involves no horizontal mortar and coral rock that is only cut perpendicular to its primary surfaces with no mitered joints. The statue physically rests on the coral rock using its concrete core for over turning.

The bench is a stuccoed monolithic pour of concrete that has a kick of coral rock along its inside surface and was to serve as a retaining wall for a triangular field of ‘sunset pursalane’ to be planted to the sidewalks. The curved bench connects an existing oolitic rock pier with the bronze dedication plaque at its opposite end and is only punctured by one path from LeJeune road that puts an approaching visitor on access to the fountain.

Stonemasons: Rockers
Location: Coral Gables, FL