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Memorial park plans are revealed

February 19, 2013

WEST WARWICK— The Station Fire Memorial Foundation has worked hard to secure the land from which the tragic fire in February 2003 occurred. After many years of prays and hoping, the foundation has created a design for the future station fire memorial park.

During the 10th Anniversary Memorial Service on Sunday afternoon, members of the foundation revealed the sketch for the park, which was designed by Stephen Greenleaf from Greenleaf Architectural Design, landscape architect Alan Ahlstrom and General Manager of RI.gov Tom Viall.

Secretary of the Station Fire Memorial Foundation Jessica Garvey explained that she arrived at the site days after the fire to place mementos and roses on the site, in honor of her sister who had passed.

After the site was cleared of all debris, she said, a “cold empty dirt lot remained, but another memorial began to form.”

She said the temporary memorial, which has stood on the site for 10 years, consisted of 100 crosses built from the remaining floor boards from the nightclub.

“As each year had passed we’ve done all that we could as we waited for the day a permanent memorial would replace the temporary one,” she said holding back tears. “But I stand before you today and say that our dream will be a reality; today we take the first steps towards that reality.”

Viall explained to the crowd the details and concepts that went into the design and what they will expect to see come next year.

He said that in 2008, an original design was drawn up and this updated design has many of the same features “with some improvements.”

Upon entering the site, he said visitors will be able to park in a 20 car parking area off Kulas Road, parallel to the site.

The entrance gate, which is the signature element of the site, will stand 30 feet tall. On top of the gate will be a wind heart.

This wind harp, he said will create music once the wind passes through the harp strings, “reminding us of how music was one of the main forces that brought people to this spot.”

After walking through the gate, he said visitors will have a choice to either walk straight towards the center or veer to the left or right, which will lead through a dozen memorial gardens.

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