Blog Unusual MemorialsOur Executive Director Mark Allen was eating brunch a few weekends ago at an Austin restaurant when he noticed a classic car parked on the side of the road. Upon further inspection, he discovered it was a tribute to a late Austinite who had passed away in 2012. This got us thinking. Are there other tributes that are just as interesting here and abroad?

We decided to compile a list. This is what we’ve gathered so far.

Austin Car Memorial

7. A Classic Car for a Classic Guy

The classic car memorializes Gary Nola Etie, a colorful Austin citizen who died in 2012. He built and remodeled many music venues and other notable Austin sites.   The car remains parked near his former home with Gary’s photo and biography attached to a side window.



6. Innovative Tribute Honors Innovator

When Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, passed away in 2011, improvised tributes popped up at Apple stores all around the world in the form of post-it notes. Mourners left sentiments, thanks, and laments on notes that were then stuck to the glass windows outside stores. One team in Munich, Germany took the tribute to the next level and used 4001 post-its to create a temporary memorial to Mr. Jobs.


5. Roadside Memorials for Cyclists

Every major city has them – these ghost bicycles, set up as roadside memorials. Also known as ghostcycles or WhiteCycles, these bikes are set up in a location where a cyclist has been killed or severely injured. “Apart from being a memorial, it is usually intended as a reminder to passing motorists to share the road. Ghost bikes are usually junk bicycles painted white, sometimes with a placard attached, and locked to a suitable object close to the scene of the accident.” Are there many in your city? Learn more at

4. Tribute in Light

In memory of the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the two strong beams of light resembling the Twin Towers’ descent from the heavens have served as a beacon of contemplation and reflection. The Tribute in Light has been a powerful international symbol of the tragedy on 9/11 for more than a decade. Read more.

Photo credit: Glyn Lowe Photoworks. / Foter / CC BY


3. An Open Book for a Great Poet

Overlooking the town of Langholm, this memorial is dedicated to the poet Hugh MacDiarmid, one of Scotland’s greatest poets of the 20th century. The memorial is that of an open book and depicts scenes from his more famous works. Here’s one of his poems:
The Little White Rose (To John Gawsworth)
The rose of all the world is not for me.
I want for my part
Only the little white rose of Scotland
That smells sharp and sweet—and breaks the heart.

2. Graffiti to Honor Fearless Skateboarder

In 2012, a memorial painting was erected to honor a New Zealand skateboarder, who was known as one of Wellington’s most stylish and fearless skateboarders. The spray-painted image covers the back of the half-pipe at the skate park, which he helped design.


1. A Mini Taj Mahal for a Beloved Wife

Our final tribute is part mausoleum – an 80 year old man is building a smaller version of the iconic Taj Majahl for his late wife. His wife had asked him who would remember them when they died, so he told her that he’d build her a tomb that everyone would remember. He’s refused help and insists it’s his final act of love. He plans on being buried there with her once he dies.

Are there any other unusual tributes you’d add to this list? Comment below.

By Jessica A. Smith,
Assistant Executive Director