Park Ridge City Council to see plans for 9/11 memorial
An architectural rendering of what the Park Ridge Sept. 11 memorial could look like. | Courtesy of Myefski Architects
Updated: October 28, 2012 6:04AM
Finding a way to raise the more than $300,000 needed to create a local 9/11 memorial is on the minds of Park Ridge Public Art Commission members as plans to bring a proposal before the city’s elected officials move forward.
During a meeting which coincided with the the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, commissioners agreed to present to the City Council a design incorporating a steel piece of the World Trade Center obtained last year by the Park Ridge Fire Department.
City Manager Shawn Hamilton, who tentatively proposed Oct. 8 for the presentation, said the purpose is for elected officials to become more familiar with the project and engage in dialogue with the commission and designers.
“It’s good to involve as many people as you can in the conversation,” Hamilton said.
Because the Art Commission’s intention is to avoid using tax dollars to fund the memorial, the City Council will not have to approve an expenditure for the project move forward. However, elected officials may have input on the location and look of the design, Hamilton said.
The memorial is proposed for the front lawn of the Park Ridge Fire Station at Cumberland and Devon avenues.
Myefski Architects, Inc., designers of the memorial, are offering design services free of charge, but costs for construction and materials could be incurred, representatives indicated. An estimate of $302,000 to encase the 200-pound, 6-foot long steel beam in glass and construct an engraved wall around the piece was presented to the Art Commission.
“From other efforts we’ve been involved in, this is still a pretty reasonable number,” architect John Myefski said.
The greatest expense is the wall which is estimated to cost at least $125,000 to build. The beam will also be illuminated at night, requiring electrical work.
Actual construction is expected to take four to five weeks.
Commissioner Alice Boghosian said she would be more comfortable if the Art Commission had a designated fundraiser already lined up.
“We’re not fundraisers,” she said.
Commissioner Tom Chisari agreed.
“We’d almost have to recruit someone who does that for a living,” he said.
Commissioner Natalie Bontumasi said she had reservations about the location of the piece and the design of the wall. Bontumasi called the corner of Cumberland and Devon “crowded” and said the artifact’s “beauty” might be lost.
“It’s not an ideal location for any design,” she said.
The location was selected by a majority of the Art Commission last fall, largely based on the belief that the piece should remain with the fire department and, also, because the fire station is staffed 24 hours a day.
The Park Ridge Fire Department is one of hundreds of fire departments and municipalities across the country to have received a piece of the World Trade Center through a program organized by the Sept. 11th Families Association and the New York and New Jersey Port Authority. The Art Commission has been discussing a plan to memorialize the piece for the last year.