Funds still needed for Veterans’ Glass City Skyway tributeWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Fundraising efforts continue for the Veterans’ Glass City Skyway Tribute Memorial and Park, which will be at the foot of the bridge on Front Street in East Toledo.
The Tribute Memorial and Park project will recognize those who made the bridge possible. The final preparations are being made for the official dedication of the memorial and park April 28, coinciding with National Workers’ Memorial Day.
The memorial will honor the five tradesmen who lost their lives during construction of the signature bridge that now provides the I-280 Maumee River crossing.
Feb. 16 marked the seventh anniversary of the death of four workers from Ironworkers Union Local 55 including Arden Clark II, Robert Lipinski Jr., Michael Moreau and Michael Phillips.
Andrew Burris, a member of Carpenters Union Local 1138, died April 19, 2007, when the platform on which he was working detached from the bridge and he fell to the ground. The skyway bridge opened to the public in June 2007.
The site, formerly Ravine Park II, was selected by a community group with public input for its unique view of the skyway and close proximity to the location of the accident that killed the four Ironworkers in 2004.
“It is a well-thought out memorial conceptually relating to the bridge that has become a symbol of the city,” said Dan Hernandez, coordinator of Art in Public Places for the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo.
The Tribute Memorial sculpture, designed by Chicago artist Evan Lewis, will feature four columns, mimicking the columns of the bridge. Two large kinetic elements at the top of the extended columns will move continuously in the wind symbolizing the constant effort of the workers who helped build the bridge.
The sculpture will stand 40 feet tall in a plaza at the center of the park, providing a unique vantage point to view the bridge and reflect on the project. It will become part of the City of Toledo’s One Percent for Art Collection.
The names of the workers who died working on the project will be engraved on a plaque at the base of the sculpture.
“We are providing the community with opportunities to add their signature imprint to this historic monument,” said Marc Folk, executive director of the Arts Commission. “The contributions will be recognized with a personalized brick paver or bench that will help us complete this wonderful tribute.”
The plaza around the sculpture will feature a combination of 4-by-8-inch square brick pavers so individuals and organizations can personalize their support of the memorial.
The smaller bricks engraved with three lines of text are available for $50 to $124; the larger pavers for $125 to $499.
Patrons can purchase the larger brick engraved with a company logo or up to six lines of text for $500 to $999. Landscaping bricks with the same content will be sold for $1,000 to $2,400. A bench plus a small brick can be purchased for $2,500 to $4,999 and a bench with a larger brick for $5,000 and up.
The total anticipated cost of Tribute Park and the memorial sculpture will fall between $270,000 and $290,000 depending on the success of the final fundraising appeal. Secured funding of $237,000 will cover the cost of the sculpture and some of the landscaping, Hernandez said.
Those funds leave a balance of $33,000 to $53,000. The number of benches, lamp posts and trees for the project will be adjusted to fit the funds raised, Hernandez said.
“All the funds that we raise will be used for the Tribute Memorial,” Folk said.
All contributions will be recognized in the Tribute Memorial Park Dedication Program.
The Tribute Memorial and Park were developed by the Veterans’ Glass City Skyway Tribute Committee, co-chaired by Joe Blaze and John Crandall.
To contribute or learn more about Tribute Park, contact the Arts Commission at (419) 254-2787 or visit its website at www.acgt.org.