Beaufort's Robert Smalls grave awarded this recognition from the National Parks Service
The planned Harriet Tubman monument in Beaufort moved one step closer to reality Tuesday.
"That is really a landmark step for the Harriet Tubman monument," the Rev. Kenneth Hodges said Wednesday. The goal is to begin building the monument in early 2020, but Hodges hopes work will begin slightly earlier, in 2019.
Newly released renderings of were submitted to the board, which show a 7-foot Tubman on a platform, surrounded by a walkway where visitors can stop and reflect.
The renderings make the monument look larger and brighter than the end product is expected to appear, the review board's chairman Chuck Symes said. Instead of a bright yellow-gold, the statue will be a darker bronze.
The board was supportive of the idea and liked the general plan for the monument in its early stages, the chairman said.
The Historic Beaufort Foundation is also supportive of the church's goal, Executive Director Maxine Lutz said Wednesday. The foundation has a seat on the review board, she said
"We're certainly supportive of it and admire the church for taking this on," Lutz said of the monument project. "... We think it'll be a nice addition to the church campus.
Some of the "hardscape," including the brick patterns and the light fixtures, still need to be finalized, along with the exact dimensions of the monument itself, Symes said.
Whenever the church feels comfortable with the next stage of planning with the architect and the sculptor, Hodges will schedule a time to come back before the review board with a "good site plan so we get a feel for how it will sit on the property," Symes said.
The next step is to produce "a detailed site and landscaping plan and modified lighting and paving details to be submitted (at) the next (Historic Review Board) meeting," according to the application document available on the board's web page. Recommendations will be sought from the Beaufort County Historic Consortium in the meantime, the same document said.
The names of donors who give $1,000 or more will be displayed on the monument, Hodges said. All other gifts will be acknowledged in a booklet that will accompany the completed structure.
"Funding is coming along quite well," Hodges said. He didn't have a precise figure immediately, but said more donations were coming in "on a daily basis. The church was waiting for this "landmark moment" in order to "ramp up the next phase of our fundraiser."
In June, the church plans to take a closer look at the fundraising effort's progress and make a more definitive announcement on where it stands, Hodges said. The cost to bring the monument to fruition was calculated to be about $500,000. The website for the monument indicates approximately 25 percent of the financial goal has been met so far.
For more information or to make a donation, visit harriettubmanmonument.com.