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The Edwin A. Zicka Memorial Story
To help pay tribute to Edwin A. Zicka, we set out to make a memorial that was a testament to his life, and a lasting symbol of the love and devotion from Mr. Zicka’s family.
Edwin A. Zicka was a long-time prominent builder in Cincinnati. He went into the home-building business in 1948 establishing Homestead Realty. He later founded E. A. Zicka Co. to focus on building apartment complexes. He owned and operated many of the large apartment complexes on Cincinnati’s westside including Four Towers Apartments, Four Towers Place, LaFeuille Apartments, Mayridge Apartments and Westbrook Apartments.
In his illustrious career, Mr. Zicka was former president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati and former president of the Greater Cincinnati Apartment Association. He was an avid golfer and a member of the Western Hills Country Club. He enjoyed vacationing with his family when he could in Sarasota Florida and Pelee Island Canada.
His children, Mike Zicka, Carol Tekulve, and Mary Jo Farruggia, desired to honor their father, upon his passing, with a fitting tribute to his distinguished life. The family contacted Acsent, then known as Napolitano Monument, to help them memorialize his life.
The family asked our firm to design an appropriate memorial to represent and reflect the life well lived and the many accomplishments of their father. Consultation and design began in early August and would ultimately take four distinct phases of design evolution, until the final memorial was erected in August of the following year.
After initial consultation with the family, the overall theme of the design was established. They wanted something symbolizing Mr. Zicka’s career in homebuilding which would reflect the enormous contributions he had made to society. The family was enamored of a stately architectural design of a sarcophagus they found in a catalog (Phase 1A Customer’s Ideas), and they wanted their father’s memorial to emulate the qualities and features of this design. The overall type of memorial was to be a sarcophagus with rounded ends that resembled fluted columns. After consulting with the cemetery, Spring Grove, on their rules and regulations, preliminary sizes and dimensions were determined.
(Drawings and images of phases 1A, 1B, 1C and 1D of the design process)
Utilizing the picture of the memorial they favored; a preliminary design (Phase 1B In Process Design) was created according to the chosen and required specifications. Upon review of the initial design (Phase 1C, Initial Concept), the family compared the monument’s design to similar memorials in Spring Grove Cemetery that they found impressive. They liked the massiveness of one monument in particular, the Eustice memorial (Phase 1D). The children preferred that their father’s monument be of more substantial size to reflect the significant impact his life had made upon the world. The massiveness of the monument was to reflect the enormous contributions their father made to society and the architectural design was to symbolize his life as a homebuilder.
(CAD Drawings of phases 2A, 2B and 2C of the design process)
Phase 2 of the design process reflected the original design in concept, but with more mass added to the thicknesses of the monument pieces (Phase 2A Rev Size). At this point preliminary quotes were obtained using the Revised design (Phase 2B, Quote Stage), along with optional feature pricing for comparison. Quotes were obtained from three quarries from around the country: Granite Industries of Vermont (GIV), Keystone Memorials in Georgia, and Coldspring Granite in Minnesota. After choosing a manufacturer to create the work, GIV, a price was presented to the family in late September, along with a refined drawing of the Phase 2 concept with the features they desired (Phase 2C, 1 st Contract). The family was pleased with the design and the first contract was signed in mid-September.
(CAD Drawing of Phase 3 Design)
Upon further reflection, the children had decided they wanted more height to the monument, considering the setting the stone was to be placed in. Also, they wanted to return to the simpler base features from earlier renditions. In late October and early November, Susan Napolitano, who was handling the sale, met with Carol to discuss changes to the design. Acsent’s design team set about to make the changes and presented a new drawing to the family in early December (Phase 3, Taller Tablet).
With the design process well under way, the family went through their first Christmas without their beloved patriarch. After much discussion throughout the holidays among the extended family, the taller design was agreed to. After updating the quoted price, the second contract was signed on January 19 with a 20% increase in price from the initial contract.
Upon further consideration, the family inquired about making the columns more column-like. The suggestion was made to round the columns out on the inside and recess the body of the tablet to allow for this. After finding out from the manufacturer what this would add to the cost, further refinement to the design was requested by the family. Throughout January, our design team worked to render the family’s wishes and in early February the new design was completed (Phase 4, Recessed Face). A revised quote was received from the quarry and the third contract was signed on March 15 th with another 20% increase in cost.
(CAD drawings of phases 4A and 4B of the design process)
At this point the family was quite pleased with what they had done and signed off on the final design on March 15th. This was to be the finished work of art. The final drawings were sent to the manufacturer and the order was placed for production to begin. Production drawings were received from GIV on April 25 th and checked by Acsent staff and then sent to the family.
Final approval from the family was received on May 9 th and sent back to GIV to begin fabrication. Estimated completion of the finished work was sometime in mid-July. The foundation was installed by Spring Grove Cemetery on July 18 th . GIV estimated that the final work would be shipped at the end of July. Arrangements were made with a crane company to meet the shipment at the cemetery when it arrived. Final setting and erection of the Zicka memorial took place on August 3 rd , much to the delight of everyone involved.
The final work (Phase 4, Final Design) is a fitting tribute to Mr. Zicka’s life, a testament to the skills of all those involved in its creation, and a lasting symbol of the love and devotion that Mr. Zicka’s family had for him.