By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A permanent memorial park has been in the works and last night the design concept was unveiled.

Here at the College of Physicians, just yards away from the fenced off site of last year’s collapse, the 22nd and Market Memorial Committee unveiled what the site’s future may look like. It’s a park designed by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

“What we felt was appropriate was to create a space that is reflective and contemplative,” PHS Chief of Staff Nancy Goldenberg said.

park plans_JimenezProject manager Anna Wik says the design includes two large granite benches, and plenty of green space with six trees.

“Small multi stem trees which are a native fringe tree,” Wik said. “Those bloom at the time the tragedy occured so we felt that would be very compelling and subtle.”

The Salvation Army’s donation of the property to the city still has to go through City Council. In the meantime, fundraising continues and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts still has to have a design contest for the actual memorial.

Wik says the park is inspired by Manton Street Park in South Philadelphia which PHS designed and installed last summer.

“What inspired us from (the park) was really the material selection. The material there was really clean, modern and I think just had the same feeling that the committee was interested in having occur at this site,” Wik said. “So, things like the bluestone paving, the flat fence, the ornamental grasses and massive bench really gave us a jumping off point.”

Organizers hope to finalize the design by the one year anniversary of the collapse and to start construction in the fall.



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