A new monument at the birth site of James Dean at 4th and McClure Streets in Marion will be erected this summer and will be dedicated on September 30th to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the actors’ death.
Main Street Marion’s director Loretta Walker has been working closely with James Dean Gallery owner David Loehr developing plans for the proposed tribute that will be an attraction for downtown Marion and a destination for James Dean fans from around the world.
Earlier this year Walker put together a group of people that includes Loehr, Halstead Architects, Bowman Construction, and local businessman Jim Sutter. The group is now working in conjunction with The Grant County Convention and Visitors Bureau and The Community Foundation of Grant County in finalizing plans to have the memorial constructed.
The park like setting and monument were designed by David Loehr and will be a lasting tribute to the internationally known Marion native. The focal point of the memorial will be a six foot tall black granite monument with pictures of Dean etched onto the front along with a picture of The Seven Gables Apartment House that stood at that location in which Dean was born. On the back of the granite slab there will be a brief bio of the iconic film star.
James Dean was born on February 8, 1931, and was raised by an Aunt and Uncle in Fairmount after his mother died at an early age. Dean graduated from Fairmount High School in 1949 and headed to Hollywood and later New York. He appeared in several live Television dramas in the early 1950’s and 2 Broadway plays before returning to Hollywood to make his three major films, East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant. He tragically died in an automobile accident on a California Highway at age 24 on September 30, 1955.