Arizona Bill of Rights posterIf you heard a loud rumbling throughout November, it may have been the sound of liberty.

Over at the State Capitol in Phoenix, the ground was prepared and limestone monoliths began to arrive on the site of what will be the nation’s first capitol-city monument to the Bill of Rights.

I’ve written about the topic before (here and here, for example), and November has been an incredibly busy month for the project and its Executive Director, Chris Bliss. Let me tell you a little about what’s going on, and point out that the effort is thiiiiis close to its financial goal. I’m sure Chris would agree that the next rumbling sound he’d like to hear is you reaching for your wallet.

For all the Bill of Rights have done for us, it’s the least we can do. When those monoliths are finally placed on Wesley Bolin Plaza, I’m confident we’ll all come together to agree, “Those courageous founding fathers had some stones.”

Anyhoo, one thing you should be sure to see is E.J. Montini’s Arizona Republic column on the monument or, as he calls it, “Arizona’s Monument to Compromise.” Wisely, the columnist quotes Bliss, whom I call “the most quotable limestone monument organizer in America.” As Chris says:

“Those 10 amendments to the Constitution are like our marriage vows. If we could put a monument to them in each state capitol we could have a powerful daily reminder of what should be guiding us forward.”

And here is where the project is as we enter the home stretch, as reported by Bliss himself:

Nov. 5: As of last week, we are within $25,000 of fully funding America’s 1st monument of the Bill of Rights, at the Arizona Capitol. This last $25,000 gift was given as a matching challenge grant for that amount, good from now through December 15th. Help us make history for future generations, and double the impact of your gift.

Arizona Bill of Rights monoliths November 2012

As of November 12: All ten monoliths have been completed, and we now expect to make our target dedication date of December 15—Bill of Rights Day.

Nov. 14: Executive Director Chris Bliss poses for the obligatory ground breaking photo on the site of the soon-to-be first monument of the Bill of Rights, across the street from the Arizona Capitol complex.

Bill of Rights Chris Bliss Nov 2012

A man, a plan, a shovel: Chris Bliss breaks ground, Nov. 14, 2012.

Nov. 19: Incredible work from lead designer Joseph Kincannon and project manager Holly Kincannon. Joseph and Holly poured their talent and passion into every detail; from the shapes, sizes, site layout and landscaping right down to the font choice and layout of the words on each amendment monolith. The monoliths ship from Kincannon Studios tomorrow morning! (November 20)

Nov. 21: The latest photo from the site (below), courtesy of our project manager Jeff Esgar of Sundt Construction, who’s put together a terrific team. The monoliths will be brought in and placed by crane on December 4th. The front trench is where the electrical for the individual spotlights for the monoliths will be located.

Arizona Bill of Rights site preparation, November 2012

Thanks, Chris. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I am looking forward to December 15, Dedication Day. I’ll share more details when I get them.

In the meantime, follow the project on Facebook, and read all the details (and donate) on the website.

Finally, enjoy a brief video, which has the comic Lewis Black explaining “why he supports”

Heavy stones being moved by a forklift may be about as distant from law practice as you can get. But on this Change of Venue Friday, I hope you agree that the heavy lifting is worth it.

I wrote before about a Bill of Rights Monument that will be erected on Bolin Plaza at the State Capitol. That effort will take fundraising, of course. And on that aspect, I’ll be posting another story from a noon press conference today (to get the breaking news, watch this page or follow me on Twitter at @azatty).

Beyond fundraising, this initiative requires … rock. Specifically, limestone.

Therefore, here are a few photos of the limestone as it was delivered to the sculptor’s studio in Austin on Tuesday, Feb. 28: ten blocks of limestone weighing 44,000 pounds. Each block will be transformed into a representation of one of the original 10 constitutional amendments, to be installed in Phoenix next December.

The forklift driver is none other than the sculptor himself, Joseph Kincannon. He spent 15 years at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York—where I bet they never let him drive the heavy machinery himself!

To add to the unique aspect of this entire venture, here is a photo of something you don’t see every day: State legislators as (let’s call it) diversely ideologically committed as former Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Sen. Karen Johnson joining together on a project (they were the co-sponsors who signed on first to get the monument onto the plaza). They flank executive director Chris Bliss.

See you in a few hours.

L to R: Sen. Karen Johnson, Chris Bliss, former Sen. Kyrsten Sinema