OCTOBER 16, 2020

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Gateway Plaza

O‑A‑K has completed another exciting project with Gerald R. Ford International Airport under our master service agreement. This project serves as the centerpiece of the main terminal entrance at the airport. The bench was made with concrete that mimics the look of limestone. This look is achieved by a difficult rubbing process that is challenging to achieve when using only concrete. The bench features a larger-than-life statue of Gerald R. Ford sculpted by J. Brett Grill. The spiral bench also features bronze inlaid lettering which reads "the 38th President of the United States" and "Gerald R. Ford" and the statue is set in-between the two phrases. Another unique component of this iconic centerpiece is that it includes the world map which was sandblasted into the base of the bench.

The statue is a part of the Grand Rapids Community Legends Project, funded by local philanthropists Peter and Joan Secchia, to honor those who have helped shape the culture of West Michigan. This work of art was unveiled at the airport with help from Gerald R. Ford's son, Mike Ford, as a memorable moment dedicated to our late President Gerald R. Ford. The Presidential Gateway Plaza will provide a warm welcome to many world travelers.

This is supposed to be the centerpiece of the main terminal entrance, so it has to be perfect on the first shot there wasn't any room for mistakes.

Dave Lamb
Project Superintendent, Owen‑Ames‑Kimball

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