AMHERST, Mass. – Minuteman Crossing, a public work of art surrounding the Minuteman statue on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus, will be dedicated in a ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 10:30 a.m. The installation is a gift to the university from the UMass Amherst Class of 1956 in honor of their 50th reunion.
Minuteman Crossing is a public plaza featuring walls made of local Ashfield stone, a silver-gray stone that breaks into flat pieces. The project features a circular terrace with steps on one side that surrounds the Minuteman statue.
Minuteman Crossing is located in the heart of the UMass Amherst campus between the Old Chapel and the Campus Pond, an area formerly covered by grass and paved walking paths. The plaza is designed to serve as a meeting place for students, faculty and staff, and to allow visitors to approach the statue and appreciate the artistry of the sculptor’s design.
The project originated in the fall of 2005 when Class of 1956 Reunion Committee member and landscape architect Scotty Donald proposed to build a public plaza on campus as a gift from the class. The group selected the site of the Minuteman statue, commissioned by the Class of 1950 and completed by sculptor John F. Townsend. Construction began on June 11, 2007 and continued through the summer months.
John Sendelbach, a local landscape architect and stonemason/artist was enlisted to assist in designing the project, which was unanimously accepted by the reunion committee and approved by UMass Amherst administrators. Sendelbach has completed two additional public projects in Amherst, including “Crossroads Salamander” located at Cushman Common in North Amherst.