Less Is More

bench Today is the sixth anniversary of the terrible Station nightclub fire in West Warwick and G. Wayne Miller has written a thoughtful piece in the Providence Journal. One focus of this update concerns the “faded and decaying” condition of the site.  There are plans for a permanent memorial at this location although it is unclear how the property, being an asset involved in this incredibly complex litigation, could ever be cleared for such a use.  But maybe that could be figured out. I have concerns, however, with the description of the proposed memorial.

The park will have a stream, a pool, a bridge, paths, 100 small gardens, memorial steps and a meeting house.

Franky, this sounds way over-designed. If the present site is faded and decaying with the immediate surviving families still in constant attendance, think what the above described park will look like in 50 years.  Who will be weeding the gardens, edging the paths, and cleaning the pool?  Who will maintain and insure this meeting house? If it’s not too late, I suggest that the design be simplified so that decades from now a beautiful park will still do honor to those who died.

[Miller’s article has several links to fundraising sites and support groups.]

1 thought on “Less Is More”

  1. The monument in DC that moves me most is still the Vietnam War Memorial, precisely because of its simple dignity.

    Bridges, gardens, all those elements make the proposed design sound more like Candyland than a place to reflect on the tragic loss of life at The Station.

    Now that I understand how intimate a state this is, I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Rhode Island to weather the experience.

    I heard someone describe it as being Rhode Island’s 9/11, but proportionately, 9/11 would have needed closer to 30,000 deaths to match what the impact in lives here.

    I think simplicity will better reflect the gravitas the tragedy represents.

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