Orange County Branch Newsletter
History and Heritage
Constructing an Historic Civil Engineering Landmark Plaque Monument
By Bill Lawson, PE
One of the responsibilities of the Orange County Branch's History and Heritage Committee is to nominate Civil Engineering related structures and facilities that are more than 50 years old to become Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks (HCEL's). Once a landmark is approved by the Branch and Los Angeles Section a bronze plaque is manufactured for display at a prominent Orange County location that is associated with the landmark. Over the last 30 years the Orange County Branch has dedicated 14 HCEL plaques. Most of these plaques have been mounted on vertical surfaces such as existing structure walls and a few have been embedded in concrete horizontally on the ground. Three of these plaques, however, have been mounted on specially constructed stone and concrete masonry monuments which were built on the grounds of the landmark site. The original design for these special monuments was prepared by Mr. Fred Meier, Past President of the Orange County Branch and long-time Chairman of the History and Heritage Committee. The first of these monuments was constructed at the San Juan Capistrano (SJC) Mission in 1993; the second was constructed at Tri-City Park in Placentia, CA in 2008 for the Anaheim Union Water Company (AUWC); and the third was constructed at Peters Canyon Regional Park in Orange, CA in 2011 for the Irvine Ranch Irrigation System (IRIS).
A copy of the three page set of hand-drawn, dimensioned plans prepared by Fred Meier for these monuments is included with photos of each of these three monuments along with photos of the monuments being constructed and of the completed monuments when they were dedicated. The first two monuments were essentially identical while the last one (at Peters Canyon Regional Park) was constructed a few inches shorter in order to conserve on the material quantities required. The first two monuments were constructed by masonry contractors hired by Fred Meier while the most recent monument was construction by OC Parks staff. These monuments are a part of the legacy of Fred Meier (1920 - 2010) which he contributed in his nearly 20 years as Chairman of the History and Heritage Committee.
For additional information on the activities of the ASCE Orange County Branch's History and Heritage Committee please click HERE.