The Diving Bell Plaza

by Manuel B. Carvalho

The best way to view all of this is to come and visit the site in Hancock Park, Dahlonega, Ga, which is free to the public.

The construction of the Plaza design is documented here as it happened. It starts at the bottom of the page with the ground breaking ceremony on June 28, 2012 and continues until its completion on Nov 30, 2012.

The wooden section of the plaza is built with heart cyprus grown in South Carolina and is constructed using traditional post and beam joinery harking back to the techniques widely used during the Diving Bell era. It includes unusual inverted trusses in order to allow an excellent view of the Diving Bell from all four sides. The massive cyprus beams support a traditional tin roof and rest on pillars decorated with native rock donated by Consolidated Gold Mine. The cement work is functional as well as symbolic in that it includes a life sized rendering of the diving bell boat as it navigates the murky waters of the Chestatee River. The landscaping also evokes the river with the use of native plants and the nicely curved retaining wall serves as seating.

14 Dec 2012

A Nightly Presence

Lights were later placed around the plaza so that night visitors can still obtain an excellent view and easily read the documentation.

30 Nov 2012

Mission Accomplished!

29 Nov 2012

The last few screws go in, a bit of cleaning and the pavilion is ready for the ribbon cutting ceremony!

28 Nov 2012

The landscaping is planted; all bracing removed from the structure and the roofing is being installed.

27 Nov 2012

Plaques are installed on native slate from Consolidated Gold Mine. Felting is on the roof deck.

26 Nov 2012

The wood working phase is complete. All the roof trusses and supports are in. Roof is now being decked.

25 Nov 2012

The small gables have their roof trusses. Next, the roof will be decked and metal roofing installed.

24 Nov 2012

A flurry of activity as the ribbon cutting ceremony gets closer.

10 Nov 2012

5 Nov 2012

Roof Trusses are going up

2 Nov 2012


1 Nov 2012

The supports are in place, H wood fasteners (the holes) are installed in joints and U-trusses are started.

Woodworking is likely to be complete within two weeks.

[Note that the U-truss is actually called a Queen support for a beam header.]

11 Oct 2012

The Woodworking Phase is Starting

3 Oct 2012

The Stone Columns are Completed

12 Sep 2012


Phase II, columns, post and beam trusses and roof, can now start.

Video is courtesy of Mitchell Mintz.

11 Sep 2012

The pavilion foundation is complete.

It includes a life sized rendering of the diving bell boat as it navigates the murky waters of the Chestatee River.

31 Aug 2012

The sidewalk is in and the boat representation poured

Photo courtesy of Anne Amerson

24 Aug 2012

Bollards are installed, plaza slab is formed and bell support stained.

28 Jul 2012

Piers for columns are poured.

20 Jul 2012

The Diving Bell support structure is done and foundations for columns laid.

7 Jul 2012

Constructing the Retaining Wall

28 Jun 2012

Groundbreaking Ceremony

After years of hard work by many people construction of the Diving Bell Pavilion has begun in Dahlonega's Hancock Park.

Committee members not shown in above image are Amy Booker, Ben LaChance and Gerald Lord.

Images by Manny Carvalho unless indicated.