The site of a deadly building collapse last year in Center City will be transformed into a memorial garden.
The Salvation Army intends to donate its land at 22nd and Market streets for the planned mini-park.
The Salvation Army was contemplating donating the land even before city officials asked about it, Mayor Michael Nutter said.
“This 2,445-square-foot parcel will be transformed into a memorial and public park dedicated to the people who lost their lives there or were injured,” Nutter said Wednesday.
A committee formed in January has been working on plans for the memorial at the site where six died after a building being demolished collapsed into the Salvation Army Thrift Store.
“This is an opportunity to create an oasis where people can reflect on what happened there, reflect on what’s going on in their own lives, but really be a moment where they can take a step back and recognize the honoring of the people whose lives were lost there,” said committee co-chair Jerry Sweeney of Brandywine Realty Trust. “What that loss of life triggered in creating the park and how that fits into the overall fabric of a very vibrant city.” (Editor’s note: Jerry Sweeney is a member of the WHYY board of directors.)
Nancy Winkler’s 24-year-old daughter, Anne Bryan, was one of those killed in the collapse. Winkler hopes the park will be a place she can go to remember her daughter.
“I think it will be a place I will be drawn to,” Winkler said. “The preliminary designs are really very beautiful and many people will be drawn there.”
Winkler is glad the Salvation Army donated the property, which will speed up the process.
A design competition will be held, and the results will be announced in time for the first anniversary of the incident, June 5. Donations are also being solicited for the project through the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and through the crowdfunding site indiegogo.com.