Our View

Auburn's icons testament to what makes city great

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Today’s front-page story on The Domes concludes our Auburn Icons 10-part series. The series portrayed 10 area icons and the people behind those structures of significance. The Journal editorial staff chose the icons. You might have different opinions of Auburn’s top 10 icons and we would like to hear your thoughts. For those who missed one or more of the series, here are the icons chosen, in random order. Auburn’s Historic Courthouse: As any tourist who drives by Auburn on Interstate 80 or local who frequents Old Town knows, Auburn’s courthouse is a majestic structure of historical significance. Judge James Garbolino, District Attorney Brad Fenocchio and Mark Berg, now a defense attorney, were chosen as the people behind the icon. Berg summed up his feelings about the courthouse well. “I look at the courthouse in a mythological sense,” he said. “You feel a sense of pride. We have such a beautiful building that represents such a profound part of our system.” The Fox statues: Any visitor to Auburn would get a kick out of seeing the Fox statues. From the deeply moving “Why?” statue of a soldier holding a fallen comrade to the Amazon Archer on Auburn Ravine Road, the statues are truly works of art. Dr. Kenneth Fox is the man behind the statues, and he has made an iconic contribution to the community. The Foresthill Bridge: The magnificent structure stands 730 feet above the American River and is the highest of its kind in the state. The setting for action films like “xXx,” starring Vin Diesel, is a must-see site for visitors and locals alike. The bridge is not only a critical transportation link but is a tie to the dam that almost was. Canyon Keepers founder Jim Ferris is richly linked to the bridge and picturesque scenery below. North Fork Dam and Lake Clementine: Clementine is indeed the darling of area hikers and boaters as well. The falls are Auburn’s mini version of Niagra. If you are capable of walking a couple of miles, it’s well worth the hike to see the lake cascade over the falls, creating breathtaking rainbows for all to enjoy. Ranger Scott Liske, who patrols the Auburn State Recreation Area, is the iconic man behind the iconic dam. Auburn Railroad Depot: The railroad is a rich part of Auburn’s history and the restored depot is a reminder of days gone by. Volunteers, who make up the spirit of our community, refurbished the depot 20 years ago. There is a true icon behind the depot and the Auburn Chamber of Commerce. Bruce Cosgrove, CEO, is celebrating his 25th year at the chamber and he will forever be linked to the iconic railroad depot. Mountain Quarries Bridge: As the Endurance Capital of the World. Auburn is forever linked to the Western States Trail. The gateway to the trail, according to legendary ultra-marathoner Gordon Ainsleigh, is “No Hands” or Mountain Quarries Bridge. Both the bridge and the trail are gateways to the pristine wilderness areas that beckon recreationists at Auburn’s doorstep. Old Town Firehouse: The history of Auburn is reflected in a red and white building in Old Town. The bucket brigade once kept buckets of water at the ready in the historic firehouse. Auburn City Fire Battalion Chief John Bailey, who started as a volunteer fireman here more than 30 years ago, knows the importance of the historic firehouse, which was built in 1891. Earl Crabbe Gymnasium: Placer High School stands proudly at the center of Auburn. The focal point at Placer for generations has been its historic gym. The gym has been the site of hundreds of basketball games, school dances and witness to the thrills of victories and the agonies of defeats. At least two longtime Auburn men’s lives have been deeply affected by the gym and its memories. Bill Flake, a legendary wrestling coach, and Jug Covich, the former athletic director and school principal, will forever be remembered for their contributions to the school and community. Auburn skatepark: A relatively new iconic structure, the skatepark is a testament to the many volunteers who made the dream of a skatepark come true for Auburn’s youth. Led by the sheer willpower of former Mayor Cheryl Maki, the Soroptimist International of Auburn women’s service club and Auburn Recreation District, the park shows the love of a community for its young people. The Domes: None other than R. Buckminster Fuller designed Placer County’s offices on Fulweiler Avenue. Many of the critical decisions that affect the future of our county are made in the geodesic domes. They are truly unique and offer a flavor of Auburn. Placer County Supervisor Jim Holmes, whose family has lived in Auburn for generations, was chosen as the man behind the iconic structures. Those are our choices for the area’s top 10 icons and the people behind them. What are yours? If you were to show Auburn to a visitor, what would you show them? Let us know with your comments to this editorial under Opinion at Yes, Auburn has many structures of significance. But it’s the people behind the icons that truly make them great.