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First Glimpse of the Magnolia Avenue Gateway Monument 
Magnolia Flower Limestone Carving
The limestone carving of a magnolia flower for the Magnolia Avenue gateway monument.

This week, the first glimpse of the Magnolia Avenue gateway monument is emerging.

Bruno Lazzaris, an artist from Pittsburgh, Pa., has carved a magnolia flower from limestone that will be embedded in the gateway monument on Magnolia Avenue at Jessamine Street.

“The one-of-a-kind custom stone carving by artisan Brunno Lazzaris will be a significant piece of the gateway monument due to its uniqueness and craftsmanship,” said Dawn Michelle Foster, Director of the City’s Office of Redevelopment. “It will be a key feature for people traveling along Magnolia Avenue to enjoy.”

The magnolia flower will be easy to spot by drivers, transit passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists alike. The limestone piece is 30 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches thick.

Weighing in at 180 pounds, the finished piece has already made its way to East Tennessee. Morristown Signs, the company contracted by the City of Knoxville to install the lettering and limestone magnolia flower, will hold the piece until its permanent installation.

Morristown Signs hired Lazzaris to create the custom magnolia piece. The artisan built it from his Happy Hollow Studio in Pittsburgh. The actual creation process took about two weeks to complete.

Magnolia Flower Limestone Carving Stages
The stages of the limestone carving for the Magnolia Avenue gateway monument.

“When it comes to carving stone, the most challenging part is making that first cut with everything rolling into place after that, and that’s how this project went for me,” said Lazzaris. “I thought this was an interesting project, especially because it would be out in the public for so many passersby to enjoy on a regular basis.”

Bruno Lazzarus
The artist, Bruno Lazzaris.

The gateway monument is part of Phase I of the Magnolia Streetscapes Project, which is slated to be finished in summer 2019.

For more information, visit www.knoxvilletn.gov/magnolia.

Posted by On 28 December, 2018 at 5:38 PM