City OKs COVID memorial at Thompson Park

BCA Architects and Engineers, Watertown, is working on a design for a memorial to honor the north country’s COVID-19 pandemic victims. Submitted illustration

WATERTOWN — Organizers will start working immediately on raising money to create a COVID-19 memorial in Thompson Park now that the City Council gave formal approval for the project on Monday night.

The City Council on Monday night gave Ten Eyck Street resident Allison F. Gorham the go-ahead to create the memorial with a black granite base and circle of 4-inch-thick cobalt blue glass. It will be erected just east of the Rotary Pavilion and nestled among some white pines.

“We’re so thrilled that council has approved this worthwhile project,” she said later.

Councilman Leonard G. Spaziani was the lone no vote, saying he doesn’t think that Thompson Park is the right location for the memorial.

Mrs. Gorham thinks the memorial is needed to honor the people in the region who have died during the pandemic.

The memorial would simply read, “Honoring those who have died during COVID-19.”

“I don’t know where else it would go,” Councilwoman Sarah Compo Pierce said about putting it at Thompson Park.

Organizers would not use city funds to pay for it. The memorial will cost $37,000, but the advisory group has a goal of raising $80,000 through donors, community organizations and corporation foundations.

BCA Architects and Engineers, Watertown, is working on the design of the memorial. The hope is to complete it at the start of next summer. Donations must be sent to the Northern New York Community Foundation.

In February, Mrs. Gorham put up a temporary COVID memorial in Clinton Park, the small city-owned park at Holcomb and South Massey streets, with the hopes of creating a permanent one in the city.

She’s been involved in beautification efforts in the city for a long time.

For the past 11 years, she’s decorated a small city park at South Massey Street for Christmas, Halloween, Easter and other holidays.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(1) comment


I think the memorial should read: "For those lost during COVID-19." Simple. Flows easily. To the point.

The planned message seems choppy, wordy and unnecessarily complicated.

I support installing the memorial at the Park. Thank you, Allison Gorham.

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