The Claude Caldwell Memorial Monument Plaza, just south of the Redding Aquatic Center, has been many years in the making.
Friday’s 11 a.m. dedication on a perfect spring day along the banks of the Sacramento River provided the back story of how one man – Claude Caldwell – sparked a legacy that continued long after his death in 1960. (Click here to read Randy Smith’s article about Claude Caldwell and what led to the Memorial Plaza in the park that bears the Caldwell name.)
The Claude Caldwell Memorial Plaza epitomizes the domino-like manner in which so many Shasta County projects are born.
What began as Coral Caldwell’s attempts to spruce up overgrown junipers from the modest, almost 50-year-old plaque that honored her late husband, Claude Caldwell, ended with a huge, flagstone-paved pavilion and public gathering place near the river’s edge.
Architect Joseph Hansen said the monument’s theme was inspired by Claude Caldwell’s leadership, and the community he served. Hansen went to Claude Caldwell’s friends and family for inspiration and information about the man he’d never met.
- “For me to design a monument that honored Claude Caldwell I had to know something about him,” Hansen said Friday.
- Coincidentally, Coral died the same day in 2005 that the nearly 40-ton sandstone rock was delivered to the park that Mark Stinson would spend more than a year and a half to carve. Stinson said that many work days he found the unfinished monument covered with graffiti, marks from bike tires and/or skateboard wheels. Once he actually arrived when some kids were on top of the monument, no doubt a memorable encounter for those kids.
- Much of the materials, talent and labor were donated, and the list below includes some of the plaza’s major contributors:
- The Caldwell family
- Joseph Hansen, AIA
- Mark Stinson, sculptor
- Redding Rotary Club & Ray Stewart
- Shasta Association of Realtors
- Rotary District 5160
- Crystal Creek Aggregate
- Donald F. Gallino, Contractors
- Dura Crane, Inc.
- Huber Masonry
- Karen McGrath
- Sean Weaver
- The McConnell Foundation
- City of Redding
- State of California