AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Capping a five-month renovation of Samford Park at Toomer’s Corner, workers today placed two stone eagles atop the gates marking the entrance to Auburn University.
The eagles are replicas of the two marble statues that adorned the gates for more than 50 years. The original statues were displayed inside Samford Hall this summer, away from the elements that have taken their toll over the years.
“They are showing a lot of wear from exposure to the weather,” said Ron Booth, executive director of facilities operations. “By moving them inside, we can better protect them and create displays that allow for viewing up close.”
AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Although the exact species of trees that will replace Auburn’s famed oaks has yet to be determined, the literal foundation for their survival is nearing completion at Toomer’s Corner. The future oaks – scheduled for planting in early 2015 – will grow in a high-tech environment that will maximize their chances of living many years.
Construction crews have installed a modular, underground structural system known as Silva Cells, which are designed to support large tree growth while reducing soil compaction and providing stormwater management. The project in Samford Park is the first in Alabama to use Silva Cell technology.
AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Phase I of the redevelopment and enhancement of Samford Park at Toomer’s Corner is scheduled to begin Wednesday, April 2. In preparation for the work, the iconic eagles perched on top of the 1917 brick gates will be temporarily taken down Thursday morning, March 27, by The Lathan Company Inc., a Mobile-based firm which restored the eagles in April 2012. The eagles will be stored on campus and returned to the corner upon completion of the project. The gates will remain on site during construction.
The project will begin with the installation of fencing around the perimeter of the worksite and the closure of a number of sidewalks in Samford Park as well as the crosswalks at the corner of West Magnolia Avenue and South College Street. Pedestrians are asked to use the midblock crosswalks on West Magnolia Avenue and South College Street for access to the downtown area from the university.
AUBURN UNIVERSITY – The Auburn University Board of Trustees on Friday, Feb. 7, approved a plan to redevelop and enhance historic Toomer’s Corner. Work will begin this spring to replace the soil contaminated by the 2011 poisoning and finish with the planting of two new trees in early 2015.
This first phase of the Samford Park redevelopment also will feature the construction of a circular wall that will allow a larger number of visitors to sit and enjoy the area. Phase II of the project, which will be completed at a later date, will create a tree-lined walkway from the corner into Samford Lawn.
AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Growth rings from the base of Auburn University’s College Street live oak at Toomer’s Corner have revealed the tree’s age of 83-85 years old at the time they were removed April 23.
This week, two Auburn professors independently counted 81 growth rings in two directions from the center of the tree’s trunk.
“The center one-inch section of the trunk was split and not clearly delineated,” said Professor of Horticulture Gary Keever. “This growth most likely occurred over two to four years, making the trees 83-85 years old.”
AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University officials today unveiled a new design for the Samford Park area at Toomer’s Corner during a Celebrate the Tradition event marking the final rolling of the poisoned Auburn Oaks, which will be removed Tuesday.
An arcing path design, set to be implemented in 2014 with the planting of two oak trees, was selected after a series of public workshops and an online survey in which more than 10,000 alumni, students, fans and friends provided opinions and ideas.
“We are unveiling the results of your ideas today,” said Bill Stone, Auburn Alumni Association president, who helped unveil an artist’s rendering. “I can tell one thing for certain: Live trees will be planted on the corner and the great tradition of rolling the corner will continue.”