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Thread: "Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Park BOX 5-1438, Dec. 3, 1999."

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    "Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Park BOX 5-1438, Dec. 3, 1999."

    Tuesday, August 12, 2003

    Site backed for memorial to fire heroes

    Hoover recommends 7 acres owned by city on Grove St.

    Nick Kotsopoulos
    TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF


    WORCESTER- City Manager Thomas R. Hoover is recommending that nearly 7 acres of city-owned land next to Fire Department headquarters on Grove Street be used for a memorial to the six firefighters who died battling the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building fire in December 1999.

    The site, which borders Salisbury Pond across from Institute Park, was selected by the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee Inc.

    Mr. Hoover has asked the City Council to give the committee permission to have a memorial built on that land. He has also asked the council to authorize him to execute a trust agreement in which the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Park would be turned over to the city when the memorial is completed.

    The council will take up those requests tonight. They are expected to be referred to the council's Public Safety Committee, where a full presentation of the project will be made.

    Mr. Hoover said the memorial committee has worked with Fire Chief Gerard A. Dio to develop a plan for the memorial that also complements the needs of the Fire Department.

    The six firefighters who died were: Lieutenants James F. "Jay" Lyons III, Thomas E. Spencer and Timothy P. Jackson, and Firefighters Paul A. Brotherton, Jeremiah M. Lucey and Joseph T. McGuirk.

    Michael J. Donoghue, chairman of the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee, said that besides selecting a site for the memorial, the committee also has:


    Voted to adopt a two-stage, open national design competition to determine the design for the memorial. Mr. Donoghue said proposals will be sought this year from professionals throughout the United States. A jury of nationally known designers and local community representatives will choose the winning design from among finalists, he said.


    Set as guidelines that the memorial include a monument to the six firefighters, a bridge connecting the memorial site to Institute Park across Salisbury Pond, a chronology of the fire and its aftermath, and tributes to others who fought the fire and to other Worcester firefighters who died in the line of duty.


    Formally name the memorial site "Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Park 5-1438, Dec. 3, 1999." Mr. Donoghue said the numbers 5-1438 stand for the five alarms called for that fire, and the Fire Department code for the location of the former Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building.

    Mr. Donoghue said that once the committee receives approval from the city to use the site, it will be able to move forward with the design competition and with a public campaign to pay for the memorial.

    "Once the memorial is completed, the committee will donate Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Park to the city of Worcester as a permanent tribute to its six fallen heroes," Mr. Donoghue said.

    The Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee was formed in late 2001. Its members include two relatives of the fallen firefighters, four members of the Fire Department and five other representatives of Worcester's civic, business and arts communities.

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    When we were young

    Firefighter Timmy Jackson
    Go with God, Brother

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    Our Fallen Heroes

    Box 5-1438 Dec 3,1999

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    Worcester Firefighters Memorial Park

    Box 5-1438 Dec 3, 1999

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    Committee pitches for land use

    Tuesday, September 30, 2003

    Committee pitches for land use

    7 acres of city land wanted for memorial for firefighters

    Nick Kotsopoulos
    TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF


    WORCESTER- The committee overseeing the creation of a memorial to the six firefighters who died battling the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building fire in December 1999 made a pitch last night for the use of nearly seven acres of city-owned land where the group wants to put the memorial.

    The site is next to the Fire Department headquarters on Grove Street and borders Salisbury Pond in Institute Park.

    Testifying before the City Council Youth, Parks and Recreation Committee, Michael J. Donoghue, chairman of the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee, said obtaining the rights will give his committee the go-ahead to take important steps in creating the memorial.

    "The committee has already taken significant strides toward the memorial to honor our fallen heroes," Mr. Donoghue said. "Having the rights to the site will enable us to put our efforts into high gear to secure a design for the memorial and to see it built."

    The Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee is asking the city to turn over use of the site next to fire headquarters and Salisbury Pond so the memorial can be built there. The committee also seeks to have the site revert to the city once the memorial is built.

    The committee selected the site as its preferred location for the memorial in October 2002. It has formally named the site the "Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Park 5-1438, Dec. 3, 1999." The numbers stand for the five alarms and the Fire Department code for the location of the former Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building.

    Last month, City Manager Thomas R. Hoover recommended to the City Council that the site next to fire headquarters be used for the memorial. That recommendation was referred to the Youth, Parks and Recreation Committee for public hearings.

    District 5 Councilor Stephen G. Abraham, committee chairman, said he was impressed with the presentation made by the memorial committee. He said he feels comfortable with the proposal and supports the recommendation.

    But before voting on it, Mr. Abraham said, his committee will hold another public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27 so the public can have an opportunity to comment on the plans.

    "I feel comfortable with what has been proposed, but we still want to give everyone the opportunity to review this and speak on it," Mr. Abraham said. "It's only fair that everyone has an opportunity to ask questions about this before we vote on it."

    In addition to Mr. Donoghue, several members of the memorial committee attended the hearing, including Fire Chief Gerard A. Dio; Frank Raffa, president of Local 1009, International Association of Fire Fighters; and Denise Brotherton, widow of Paul Brotherton, one of the six firefighters who died in the warehouse blaze.

    The other five firefighters who died were: Lts. James F. "Jay" Lyons III, Thomas E. Spencer and Timothy P. Jackson, and Firefighters Jeremiah M. Lucey and Joseph T. McGuirk.

    Mr. Donoghue said the memorial committee will soon be seeking proposals for the first part of a two-stage design competition that will determine what the memorial will look like and how it will fit into the site.

    He said it will also be mounting a fund-raising campaign to finance the memorial and to create an endowment that will pay for its maintenance.

    Mr. Donoghue said the committee will ensure the public is kept informed about the progress toward building the memorial, and that public opinion is solicited during the design competition.

    The memorial committee already has set guidelines for the design of the memorial to include a monument to the six firefighters; a bridge connecting the memorial site to Institute Park across Salisbury Pond; a chronology of the tragic fire and its aftermath; and tributes to others who fought the fire and to other city firefighters who died in the line of duty.






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    Memorial hearing scheduled

    Monday, November 10, 2003

    Memorial hearing scheduled

    Plan would honor lost firefighters City Hall notes

    The City Council Youth, Parks and Recreation Committee will hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. today on a proposal to create a memorial to the six city firefighters who died battling the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building fire nearly four years ago.

    The hearing will be held in the City Council chamber.

    Before the council committee is a plan recommended by City Manager Thomas R. Hoover, allowing the use of about seven acres of city-owned land for the memorial. The site is next to the Fire Department headquarters off Grove Street and on scenic Salisbury Pond in Institute Park.

    The Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee is seeking to gain temporary control of the site to design and build the memorial there. The committee also seeks to have the site revert to the city of Worcester once the memorial is built.

    "The committee has already taken significant strides toward the memorial to honor our fallen heroes," said Michael J. Donoghue, chairman of the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee. "Having the rights to the site will enable us to put our efforts into high gear to secure a design for the memorial and to see it built."

    The Youth, Parks and Recreation Committee held a hearing on the plan in late September. While the three-member committee was impressed with the presentation made by the memorial committee, District 5 Councilor Stephen G. Abraham said he wants to hold another hearing on the plan so the public can have another opportunity to comment on it.

    "I feel comfortable with what has been proposed, but we still want to give everyone the opportunity to review this and speak on it," Mr. Abraham said.

    The Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee began working in late 2001 on development of the memorial to honor Fire Lts. James F. "Jay" Lyons, Thomas E. Spencer and Timothy P. Jackson, and Firefighters Paul A. Brotherton, Jeremiah M. Lucey and Joseph T. McGuirk, who died fighting the warehouse blaze in December 1999.

    Since announcing in October 2002 the selection of the memorial site off Grove Street, the committee has formally named the site "Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Park 5 - 1438, December 3, 1999." The numbers stand for the fire's five alarms and the Fire Department code for the location of the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. fire. Six Worcester firefighters died during rescue operations the evening of Dec. 3, 1999, in a fire in the building, off Interstate 290 near downtown Worcester.

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    Fire honor site endorsed

    Tuesday, November 11, 2003

    Fire honor site endorsed


    Councilors like Institute Park

    Nick Kotsopoulos
    T&G STAFF


    WORCESTER- A City Council committee has endorsed a plan that calls for constructing a memorial in Institute Park to the six firefighters who died battling a fire at the former Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building in December 1999.

    The council's Youth, Parks and Recreation Committee last night approved two orders recommended by City Manager Thomas R. Hoover that would pave the way for creating the memorial.

    The first gives the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee permission to use about seven acres of parkland adjacent to Fire Department headquarters on Grove Street and Salisbury Pond for the memorial.

    The second is a trust agreement that would donate Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Park to the city upon completion of the memorial.

    The council committee vote was 2-0, with District 5 Councilor Stephen G. Abraham, committee chairman, and Councilor-at-Large Joseph M. Petty both supporting the plan. Councilor-at-Large Juan A. Gomez, the third member of the committee, was not present.

    "I'm satisfied that many of the issues raised tonight by our citizens have been discussed and will be discussed even more in the future," Mr. Abraham said. "I feel comfortable that public input will continue to be important in the design process of this project."

    The committee's recommendation will go before the entire City Council at its Nov. 18 meeting.

    Michael J. Donoghue, chairman of the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee, said he was pleased by the council committee's action. He said obtaining rights to the site will let his committee seek proposals to begin a two-stage national design competition on what the memorial will look like and how it will fit into the site.

    Mr. Donoghue said the committee also intends to raise money to finance the memorial and create an endowment to pay for its construction and maintenance.

    "This will be a very public initiative," Mr. Donoghue said.

    Firefighters Paul A. Brotherton, Timothy P. Jackson, Jeremiah M. Lucey and Joseph T. McGuirk and Lt. James F. "Jay" Lyons and Lt. Thomas E. Spencer lost their lives while fighting the warehouse blaze on Dec. 3, 1999.

    Several members of their families were among more than 50 people at last night's hearing.

    Some who testified before the committee said that while they supported a memorial, they had concerns about the site. Some felt setting aside seven acres of parkland was excessive; others were concerned that Institute Park was being redesigned without a master plan.

    "Using seven acres of land is quite preposterous," said Patricia Fletcher of 80 Salisbury St. "This is a historic park, and things should not be introduced that are contrary to the scheme of the park."

    Lawrence Freed of 250 Weatherstone Drive said he was concerned about the "dreadful" condition of Salisbury Pond. He said it has been "abused and neglected" over the years, leading to the creation of considerable wetlands in Institute Park.

    "I'm concerned about building this beautiful memorial overlooking a pond that is turning into a swamp," Mr. Freed said. "That would be disrespectful of the memorial. The city should step forward and restore the pond, which is the centerpiece of the park."

    Jeanice Sherman of 20 Whitman Road questioned how the city could maintain the memorial amid funding and personnel shortages.

    Allen W. Fletcher of 4 Ash St. said he preferred to have the memorial at the fire site.

    "We may be shooting too high with this memorial," Mr. Fletcher said. "There may be visions of grandeur that we will not be able to live up to. The memorial committee is also pretty much redesigning the park without a master plan."

    Fire Chief Gerard A. Dio said the site selection process was not easy. He said the committee opposed a memorial at the fire site because public access would not be good there. The fire site is in the shadow of Interstate 290 on Franklin Street, in an industrial area.

    The chief said a park setting was preferred, and Institute Park was chosen because it is behind fire headquarters.

    "All six men went through there at one time or other because that is where our Training Division is located," Chief Dio said. "That is where all our firefighters begin."

    Firefighter Frank Raffa, president of Local 1009, International Association of Fire Fighters, said a memorial near Salisbury Pond would be the perfect setting for reflecting on the lives lost and the jobs done by firefighters.

    Kenneth W. Paolini, executive director of Design Competitions International and the senior adviser to the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee, said the actual memorial will be a small part of the site.

    "This will not be a seven-acre memorial," Mr. Paolini said. "It will be a seven-acre park with a memorial in it."

    http://www.telegram.com/apps/pbcs.dl...311110464/1025

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    Wednesday, November 19, 2003

    Firefighters memorial OK'd

    Institute Park site approved by council

    Nick Kotsopoulos
    T&G STAFF
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    'Our work is not done. We still have a lot to do, but this is an important step. The ongoing process will value community involvement, and this project will be successful because of that.'
    MAYOR TIMOTHY P. MURRAY


    WORCESTER- Nearly four years after six firefighters died battling the fire at the former Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building, a planned memorial to them finally has a home: Institute Park.

    The City Council last night unanimously approved a plan that calls for constructing the memorial on about seven acres in Institute Park, adjacent to Fire Department headquarters on Grove Street and Salisbury Pond.

    With its vote, the council gave the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee permission to use the land for the memorial. As part of the plan, the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Park will be donated to the city upon the completion of the memorial.

    Michael J. Donoghue, chairman of the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee, thanked the council for its support. He promised that the memorial will be a fitting tribute to Worcester's fallen heroes.

    "Some people talk about the site, saying that it is too big," Mr. Donoghue said. "The size of this memorial park reflects the magnitude of the sense of loss this community has felt since December 1999."

    Lts. James F. "Jay" Lyons III, Thomas E. Spencer and Timothy P. Jackson, and Firefighters Paul A. Brotherton, Jeremiah M. Lucey and Joseph T. McGuirk died while fighting the warehouse blaze Dec. 3, 1999.

    Since that tragedy, efforts have been made to come up with a suitable memorial. The Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee was established to find a site for the memorial and then oversee its design and construction.

    The committee, which includes relatives of two of the six fallen firefighters, voted unanimously more than a year ago to choose the Grove Street portion of Institute Park as its preferred site for the memorial. Members of the other four firefighters' families also have endorsed that site. Some family members were in attendance at last night's meeting.

    Kenneth W. Paolini, executive director of Design Competitions International and the senior adviser to the memorial committee, said the actual memorial will be a small part of the seven-acre site. He envisions it as a "seven-acre park with a memorial in it."

    District 5 Councilor Stephen G. Abraham, chairman of the council's Youth, Parks and Recreation Committee, said the city has an opportunity to put part of the tragedy behind it in a positive way with the construction of the memorial.

    In addition to honoring the six firefighters who died at the warehouse fire, he said, the memorial park will also pay tribute to other firefighters who might also die in the line of duty. Efforts will also be made to incorporate an existing memorial at Fire Department headquarters that honors other firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty, into the new memorial park.

    Mr. Abraham promised the public will have input in the design process for the memorial.

    Councilors-at-Large Joseph M. Petty and Juan A. Gomez, who also serve on the Youth, Parks and Recreation Committee, echoed Mr. Abraham's sentiment. They said although deciding on the site for the memorial was not an easy decision, both felt the one at Institute Park was the right choice.

    "This will be a fitting tribute to six people who made the ultimate sacrifice," Mr. Gomez said.

    Mayor Timothy P. Murray said the council's vote was a significant step forward and will enable the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee to proceed with its two-stage national design competition for the memorial, as well as raise money to finance the memorial and create an endowment fund to pay for its construction and maintenance.

    "Our work is not done," Mr. Murray said. "We still have a lot to do, but this is an important step. The ongoing process will value community involvement, and this project will be successful because of that."

    City Manager Thomas R. Hoover saluted the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee for all the work it has done, and he paid tribute to the families of the fallen firefighters.

    He pledged his administration's commitment to the project, and he promised that concerns raised by residents at previous public hearings about Institute Park and the condition of Salisbury Pond will be addressed.

    Michael V. O'Brien, commissioner of parks, recreation and cemetery, said his department will soon be undertaking a master plan for Institute Park. He said it will be a joint venture with a "significant neighbor," but he said he could not identify who that is at this time.


    http://www.telegram.com/apps/pbcs.dl...09/1008/NEWS02




    PHOTO
    From right to left, Michelle Lucey, widow of Firefighter Jeremiah M. Lucey; Mary Jackson, widow of Fire Lt. Timothy P. Jackson; and Diane Flynn-Pellegrino, daughter of Ms. Jackson and stepdaughter of Lt. Jackson, in the back row of the City Council Chamber as they listen to discussions about the future firefighters memorial last night.
    (T&G Staff / STEVE LANAVA)

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    Gift set for city firefighters memorial

    Friday, January 23, 2004

    Gift set for city firefighters memorial

    Nick Kotsopoulos
    T&G STAFF
    nkotsopoulos@telegram.com



    WORCESTER- The Worcester Fire Fighters Safety and Survival Seminar is donating $25,000 toward the creation of Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Park.

    Fire Lts. John A. Daly and Andrew White, co-founders of the Worcester Fire Fighters Safety and Survival Seminar, will present a ceremonial check to Michael J. Donoghue, chairman of the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee.

    The donation will be made at center ice just before the Worcester IceCats game begins at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Worcester Centrum Centre.

    In its five years in existence, the Worcester Fire Fighters Safety and Survival Seminar has donated more than $100,000 to Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Park. The seminar has also donated safety equipment to the Worcester Fire Department.

    Lts. Daly and White began the seminar soon after the devastating fire at Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co., which claimed the lives of six of their fellow Worcester firefighters in December 1999.

    Mr. Donoghue said the generosity of the Worcester Fire Fighters Safety and Survival Seminar is another example of the strong bond that exists among brother firefighters, and of their commitment to remembering their own.

    "Our memorial committee has made it our theme that it is "A Time to Honor Our Own,'" Mr. Donoghue said. "No one better lives up to that theme than the Worcester firefighters themselves."

    The memorial committee, which includes relatives of two of the six fallen firefighters, is in the process of creating the memorial at a site off Grove Street on Salisbury Pond near Worcester Fire Department headquarters and Institute Park.

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    Shaping a fallen heroes memory

    Friday, July 9, 2004

    Shaping a fallen heroes memory

    5 finalists for design of firefighter memorial to be chosen Monday

    WORCESTER- Lights shining into the night sky; variations on the number six in columns, bronze ladders or lifelike oversized sculptures; a meditative walking path or maze; even a bridge that spans a portion of Salisbury Pond.

    The Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial could incorporate any or all or none of these on its 7-acre site. The memorial committee will announce five finalists Monday out of 160 entries.

    Many of the people who viewed the entries yesterday at WPI's Alden Hall used words such as overwhelming and awe-inspiring to describe the proposals and said the jurors have a daunting task.

    "I can't believe it. I can't imagine picking," said Frank P. Raffa, president of the local firefighters union.

    The entries featured timelines of the events leading to the deaths of six firefighters at the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. on Dec. 3, 1999. One proposal featured a fountain representing a firefighter's hose and water. Others suggested archways, and one focused on a tower with six windows at the top but no entrance.

    Still another entry included an obelisk to display a history of the park along with the tribute to the dead firefighters. Many incorporated the duality of the firefighter as individual and as member of a tightly knit group.


    One entry featured 15-foot-high lifelike sculptures of Firefighters Paul A. Brotherton, Jeremiah M. Lucey and Joseph T. McGuirk, and Lts. Timothy P. Jackson, James F. "Jay" Lyons III and Thomas E. Spencer.

    "It's going to be very difficult to choose just one," said Lt. Jackson's wife, Mary. "I want it to be a place of quiet reflection and never to be forgotten."

    "I'm glad I'm not a juror," she added.

    Robert McCarthy, a juror who is president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, said he was surprised at the sheer volume of entries.

    "They reached out to the whole architectural world for this competition," he said.

    Indeed, entries were received from across the country. The memorial committee advertised in local newspapers and architectural trade journals.

    Juror Wellington Reiter, dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Arizona State University, said he was pleasantly surprised by the volume of entries and the quality.

    "It's good to see a roomful of them," he said. "Twenty percent of them are going to be within the realm of possibility and worthy of serious consideration."

    Mr. Reiter, who lived in Boston for 20 years, designed the Wright Brothers memorial in North Carolina.

    He said he favors designs both specific and abstract. But he acknowledged that other judges, particularly those closer to the events and the firefighters who died, might have other criteria in mind.

    As an example, Mr. Reiter said the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., is an outstanding work both for the design and the inclusion of the names of every American killed in the Vietnam War.

    On Monday the memorial committee will announce the five finalists, and in September a winner will be chosen.

    The memorial will be built at Salisbury Pond across from Institute Park at a cost of up to $5 million. In addition, Institute Park will be undergoing a facelift to complement the memorial.

    An 11-member jury studied the proposals yesterday and will continue its deliberations today.

    The design includes the memorial itself and the park that surrounds it. A nearby football field will be left intact and refurbished. The site is adjacent to the Worcester Fire Department headquarters off Grove Street.

    The winning designer will earn a $30,000 prize and the opportunity to continue to develop the project. The second-place finisher will receive $8,000; third place, $5,000; and fourth and fifth place, $1,000 each.

    Perhaps the best-known member of the jury, Worcester-bred comedian Denis Leary, was unable to attend the judging. Mr. Leary is president of the Leary Firefighters Foundation, which has sponsored annual celebrity charity hockey games featuring National Hockey League stars since the 1999 fire.

    Michael J. Donoghue, president of the memorial committee, said the quality of the entries indicates that the participating architects were well-read on their subject.

    "Everyone who has come in and seen this says one thing," he said. "It's world-class."

    State Sen. Stephen M. Brewer, D-Barre, noted there are always people who don't like the final design of a memorial. Many people, he recalled, criticized the Vietnam Memorial shortly after the finalist was chosen.

    "And somebody won't like this one, whatever it is," he said. "But I think it will stand the test of time."

    Richard Nangle can be reached by e-mail at rnangle@telegram.com.

    Photo below
    James and Joan Lyons, parents of Lt. James F. Lyons III, one of the six who died in the Worcester Cold Storage fire, study entries in the design competition yesterday. (T&G Staff / STEVE LANAVA)
    Enlarge photo

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    Memorial finalists named

    Tuesday, July 13, 2004

    Memorial finalists named

    Monument will honor firefighters who died in 1999 fire

    Martin Luttrell
    T&G STAFF
    mluttrell@telegram.com


    WORCESTER- The woods behind the Grove Street fire station are overgrown with vines and poison ivy, littered with the food wrappers and beer cans from decades of squatters and drinking parties.

    But amid the clutter remain reminders of a grander time for the peninsula that juts into Salisbury Pond: towering white pines, an American beech tree bearing initials carved so long ago they are stretched to the point of illegibility, concrete piers that once held benches looking out onto the pond.

    The abandoned peninsula - part of Institute Park more than 50 years ago - will again be linked to the park when a memorial to six fallen firefighters is built there, with a footbridge over the pond to connect to the park.

    Yesterday, the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee announced five finalists for the memorial, which will honor firefighters Paul A. Brotherton, Jeremiah M. Lucey and Joseph T. McGuirk, and Lts. Timothy P. Jackson, James F. "Jay" Lyons III and Thomas E. Spencer. They died in the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building fire on Dec. 3, 1999.

    The finalists, all from Massachusetts, were selected from 158 submissions from around the country, said Michael J. Donoghue, president of the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial National Design Competition.

    "I think that every one of them, in their own way, presents an opportunity for the visitor to contemplate what happened on Dec. 3 and for the 10 days that followed," he said.

    "They give the visitor an opportunity to reflect on the aftermath, the recovery of the bodies. It's an education."

    The five finalists will visit the site on July 27, when they will be given more information and be allowed to ask questions of the committee, said Kenneth W. Paolini, consultant to the committee.

    "I feel confident that we'll have a winner out of these five," he said. "I look forward to a second stage of competition of the highest quality."

    All five designs include a bridge linking the memorial site to Institute Park, the names of the fallen firefighters and a description of the timeline of events that began at 6:13 p.m. when Box 1438 was struck for a fire at 266 Franklin St.

    By 7:58 that night, orders were given to evacuate the building, with six firefighters unaccounted for and presumed dead, according to the timeline described by one finalist.

    City Manager Michael V. O'Brien said that the inclusion of local community members in the design is essential.

    "We carry this tragedy in our hearts day to day," he said. "Part of the healing process is for the community to participate. It brings us to a better place in our hearts. ... It is a fitting tribute to our fallen heroes."

    The memorial will be built at a cost of $3 million to $5 million. Institute Park will also receive some improvements, and WPI is working with the city on a master plan for the park.

    An 11-member jury selected the five finalists and will announce the winner on Sept. 27.

    Fire Chief Gerard A. Dio said he wasn't sure what to expect at the start of the competition. "A big part of it is some recognition of the six individuals," he said. "We want something that brings the six to light.

    "I like what we have here. The finalists will now expand on what they've done.

    "... It was quite an experience going through the process. I was surprised we were able to come to a consensus. I believe we did well and got the best of the designs."

    No family members of the fallen firefighters attended yesterday's press conference, Chief Dio said.

    Drawings of the five final designs will be on display on the third floor of City Hall for the next three weeks, and will then be on display at the Worcester Public Library, Mr. Donoghue said.
    Firefighter memorial finalists
    Stephen Stimson Associates, Falmouth, has worked on national projects including university campuses, corporate headquarters, parks and private gardens. Currently doing work at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Harvard Biological Research Center and Harvard Science Center.
    A terrace overlooking Salisbury Pond marked by a 60-foot-high monument and willow grove. Six polished rungs punctuate a thin slot in the monument, creating a shifting beam of light with the movement of the sun, illuminating six polished granite slabs engraved with the names of the firefighters.

    Ben Smoot, Brookline, design degree from the University of Virginia. He works for William Rawn Associates architects in Boston and is involved in the design of a new federal courthouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
    Two reflecting pools, six stone piers and six glass columns. The stone columns will become beacons of light at night, illuminated by lights under the reflecting pools.

    Benjamin Kou, Cambridge, bachelor’s degree in art history from Clark University and master’s degree in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has worked on biotechnology buildings, high-end residential projects and is designing a marine institute for a higher education client in Rhode Island.
    Six bronze and granite pillars, each representing a fallen firefighter, situated to represent his last known position at the time of the warehouse collapse.

    Chuni Wang, Waltham, registered architect born in Taiwan who moved to the United States and received a master’s degree in architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
    Six steel frames will rise out of the woods, wrapped in titanium panels that curve around and upward. In the setting sun they will appear to rise out of spiraling flame.

    Gala Simon Associates Inc., Watertown, offers a broad range of construction design, civil engineering and landscape architectural services. Also provides consultation services for feasibility studies, land use planning, development planning, permitting and construction administration.
    The primary memorial features six vertical elements leaning inward toward one another, symbolizing the strength and unity of the firefighters. The center circle will contain granular stone, concrete and brick from the Cold Storage site.
    More info and photos on link below
    http://www.fallen-heroes.org/News/stageone.html

    photo below
    Firefighters look on as union President Frank Raffa talks yesterday about the five final designs for a memorial, shown on easels.
    (T&G Staff /MARK C. IDE)

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    Generations to learn how 6 brave men died

    Tuesday, July 13, 2004

    Memorial links fire to future

    Generations to learn how 6 brave men died

    By Dianne Williamson
    T&G STAFF


    I was sitting in a friend's back yard on the Fourth of July when one of the partygoers from out of town happened to mention that she hadn't driven past the site of the Worcester Cold Storage warehouse fire in months.

    Talk inevitably turned to the fatal blaze and soon someone asked the question peculiar to pivotal moments in time: Where were you?

    As in -- where were you when Kennedy was shot? How did you hear that two planes had crashed into the Twin Towers? What were you doing when you learned of the devastating tragedy that was unfolding in an abandoned Worcester warehouse?

    On the Fourth of July, I was struck by how that question immediately captivated the group. Everyone wanted to reminisce about that horrible December night in 1999; everyone wanted to stake out their claim to the memory, as though by attaching ourselves to a happening we become part of its lore and history.

    Yesterday, the city came one step closer to deciding what a permanent remembrance will look like when five finalists for the Fire Fighters Memorial were unveiled at Fire Department headquarters on Grove Street. Five designs sat propped on easels, judged to be the best of 160 submissions from artists and architects around the country. Five designs, each of them visually stunning, but only one of them destined to speak from one generation to generations to come: This is how we remember.

    ``This is one of my favorites,'' Firefighter Frank Raffa was saying yesterday, standing in front of a design defined by six vertical monuments leaning inward, to symbolize the unity of the six men who died. Beams of light project from the top of each monument to an intersecting point. Each monument would be engraved with a name: Paul A. Brotherton, Jeremiah M. Lucey, Joseph T. McGuirk, Timothy P. Jackson, James F. ``Jay'' Lyons III and Thomas E. Spencer.

    ``I like the beams of light,'' Firefighter Raffa explained. ``I hate to use the word `simple,' but it just looks nice.''

    He shouldn't hate the word. Simple is clean and straightforward. Simple is not bogged down by sentimentality or melodrama. Simple isn't fussy or contrived, and simple is exactly the effect that should be strived for here.

    The memorial will be built on seven acres behind Fire Department headquarters, on Salisbury Pond. I won't belabor the point because the decision has long been made, but I think it's a shame that the memorial won't stand on the most natural site for it: the scene of the blaze.

    Apparently too many obstacles precluded the siting on Franklin Street, where T-shirts still hang on the chain-link fence there and underscore the emotional power that has always drawn visitors to the scene. Now, the question of whether those obstacles could have been overcome is moot.

    ``It was very traumatic to move from that site to this site,'' Michael J. Donoghue, president of the memorial committee, said yesterday. ``It was not an easy thing to do.''

    Nor, apparently, will it be easy to choose the memorial that will best and perhaps forever serve as Worcester's tribute to the sacrifice of the six.

    ``This is the one that jumped out at me,'' said District Fire Chief Michael O. McNamee, gesturing to a design of six bronze and granite pillars on a plinth that takes its shape from the footprint of the deadly warehouse. Each pillar represents a firefighter and is positioned to mark his last known location at the warehouse.

    ``See, that's where we found Jay,'' Chief McNamee said, pointing to one of the pillars. ``We found Joe first, then we found Tommy,'' he said, his finger moving across the plinth. ``That's what grabbed me -- it brings you back to the building.''

    Is that a good thing?

    ``It's not an easy thing, but it's part of our lives,'' he said. ``It's something we have to deal with.''

    Chief McNamee asked if I'd like to see the site of the memorial, and we walked behind fire headquarters and around the red practice burn tower to a wooded area on the banks of Salisbury Pond. The chief said he thinks this site is a good choice, that it will serve as a constant reminder to new firefighters of the dangers inherent in every blaze.

    ``We'll always be the keeper of those grounds,'' he said, referring to the site of the demolished warehouse, soon to serve as new Fire Department headquarters. ``Before that fire, we hadn't lost a person in 37 years. It happened in Boston. It happened in Los Angeles. It doesn't happen in Worcester. But it did.''

    I was playing Scrabble when it did, and my brother called me at home when he heard that two firefighters had been lost in a building downtown that was on fire. I hung up and immediately called this newspaper's city desk.

    ``It's not two men,'' my editor replied, his voice tight and strained. ``It's six men.''

    I raced down to the warehouse moments later, and as I told this story on the Fourth of July, all of the surreal sights and sounds of that night came flooding back: flames shooting so far into the night sky they seemed to devour the city. Endless smoke pouring from the roof. Frantic radio transmission. The tears and curses of tired, stunned firefighters as they grasped the enormity of the horror.

    ``In some ways it seems so long ago,'' said Chief McNamee, who made the tough, brave call that night to order his men out of the warehouse before more lives were lost. ``But every day, it's right there. In the past, even if a building burnt to the ground, we won. We got to go home. We didn't win that night.''

    Everyone has their own memories of the Worcester warehouse fire, but someday all the witnesses will be gone. Someday, visitors to a memorial yet to be built will search for a connection to this city's history. We must make sure, then, that we get it right.


    Dianne Williamson can be reached via e-mail at dwilliamson@telegram.com

    Dianne Williamson
    T&G STAFF

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    Public picks memorial with six pillars of light

    Monday, July 26, 2004

    Public picks memorial with six pillars of light

    Three other finalists finished far behind

    Lyndal Gawen
    T&G STAFF
    lgawen@telegram.com


    WORCESTER- A simple design of six pillars reaching up to the sky won the most support in the public voting for a memorial to honor the six firefighters who died in the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. fire.

    There were 638 responses to the Telegram & Gazette's online ballot. Writers commented on what they did or did not like among the five finalist sketches for a memorial to the firefighters who died Dec. 3, 1999.

    On July 12, a panel of 11 judges chose the finalists from 158 submissions. At 11 a.m. tomorrow, the artists who submitted those five proposals will have an opportunity to visit the site of the memorial, an abandoned area behind the Grove Street fire station. They will be able to survey the area and begin the process of making more realistic drawings.

    Final accurate renderings of each proposal must be submitted by 5 p.m. Sept. 15. The jury will make a second review of the designs Sept. 23 and 24. A winner will be announced Sept. 27.

    The Telegram & Gazette readers have expressed their preferences on which proposal should be picked to honor the sacrifice made by Firefighters Paul A. Brotherton, Jeremiah M. Lucey, and Joseph T. McGuirk, and Lts. Timothy P. Jackson, James F. "Jay" Lyons III and Thomas E. Spencer.

    The Gala Simon Associates Inc. simple design of six pillars reaching up to the sky with beams of light coming from the top and intersecting received 42.6 percent of the votes, making that the people's first choice.

    According to the comments, the design is a favorite because of its underlying symbolism. As Lawrence Moore of Sutton said, "The design concept focuses on "idea' rather than "structure.'"

    Mary Stanton of Westboro echoed Mr. Moore, saying, "When I first viewed the finalists, this design brought tears to my eyes. It was this design that made me feel these wonderful men are as one - as brothers."





    The Gala Simon memorial would use granular stone, concrete and brick from the Cold Storage site.

    "I love the idea of including gravel and stone from the site of the tragedy to make the experience more literal and poignant," said Carla Smith of Cambridge.

    After commenting on the design's "gestural strength," Michael Doiron of Hull said the "re-use of concrete and brick from the original site further enhanced the gesture of the commitment that these men had for our safety and well-being."

    The Benjamin Kou design received 37 percent of the votes. It features six pillars placed to represent the known position of each of the six firefighters in the abandoned warehouse.

    The representation of positioning is what made the design so popular with voters, with its attempt to make the experience of the memorial real.

    Maria Camerano of Worcester wrote she thought the perfect memorial design would be the incorporation of both the Benjamin Kou design and the one by Gala Simon Associates.

    "If the pillars were positioned as in Kou's rendition and using the actual materials from the site, it would be a true memorial to the fateful events of that terrible evening," she said.

    The three other finalists received significantly fewer votes. Ben Smoot received 10.5 percent of the votes; Chuni Wang, 3.7 percent; and Stephen Stimson Associates, 4.2 percent.

    Some readers - 2.7 percent of the voters - did not like any of the five designs.

    Greg Chapdelaine of Leominster wrote, "All of these designs are cold and emotionless."

    "In 20 or 10 years from now, no one is going to know what this memorial stands for. The entries that featured sculpture would have been the best choices. A sculpture shows emotion," he said.

    photo below
    Gala Simon Associates' popular design.

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    Benjamin Kou's design

    Six Pillars

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    Newcomers show their visions for memorial

    Wednesday, July 28, 2004

    Designers feel at home



    Milton J. Valencia
    TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

    WORCESTER- They come from Brookline, Cambridge, Waltham, Falmouth and Watertown.

    But the architects competing to build a memorial in Worcester all said they learned of Worcester and what they called a supportive community while researching the Worcester Cold Storage & Warehouse Co. building fire that killed six firefighters in 1999.

    With that research, an educational component has surfaced as a common trend in the five designs named as finalists for the Worcester firefighters' memorial on Grove Street that will honor the fallen firefighters, the architects of the designs said. They said they wanted to teach others about the fire, the community and the support that they have learned about and connected with while making their designs.

    ``This is a place of remembrance that serves to educate,'' said Benjamin Kou, of Cambridge, while explaining his proposal.

    Chuni Wang of Waltham, another finalist, said there was no other choice but to learn more about the fire and the community and present it that way to the public. ``You get emotionally attached to it,'' she said.

    The architects of the five finalists spoke publicly about their designs for the first time yesterday, as the national competition reached the second stage.

    The finalists toured the Grove Street site where the memorial will sit, near the Fire Department headquarters, and heard from the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee about what it expects from the final presentation. They learned of environmental and physical constraints involving the site, a peninsula bordering Salisbury Pond with Institute Park located across the pond.

    Now, the finalists must prepare a final presentation that will include a 3-D model, and show how they would actually construct the memorial at the site.

    The finalists will present the final product by Sept. 15. Then, a jury will review the presentations on Sept. 23 and 24, and the winner will be announced by Sept. 27. The winner will receive a $30,000 prize and will be allowed to move forward to construct the memorial.

    Organizers of the contest say holding the competition in stages allows for a thorough look at the proposals, so whatever is built will incorporate the wishes of all of Worcester.

    ``We want to do it right, with the intent of creating a memorial park to firefighters and to memorialize the six firefighters within that park,'' said Michael Donoghue, chairman of the competition committee.

    He mentioned that Boston did not build a memorial to honor eight firefighters who died in 1977 until 25 years later. Just selecting a finalist before the five-year anniversary of the Worcester fire is a tribute to the firefighters, he said.

    ``Our firefighters deserve better than that; this city, this community deserves better than that,'' he said.

    And the five memorial finalists said they tried to incorporate the tribute to the firefighters and the community support in their drawings.

    Colleen Simon, of Gala Simon Associates Inc. of Watertown, said her firm tried to incorporate a show of unity among the six firefighters who died by proposing six tall pillars that are arranged in a circle and lean toward one another in the memorial park. A beam of light will pour from the top of each structure, and the six beams will intersect in the sky.

    Moreover, a walkway leading to the monument will detail a timeline of the fire, from when the first alarm rang, to when the evacuation order was given. The timeline is a requirement the committee set, and one that the architects have embraced in their designs.

    ``You have to remember the emotional ties to this,'' Ms. Simon said. ``You have to capture those feelings and incorporate them into the design.''

    Mr. Kou, of Cambridge, who designed his proposal himself but is now working with Landworks Collaborative for the second stage of the competition, has proposed a memorial that will be constructed several feet above ground. He said the higher elevation gives a visitor the feeling he has entered into a different realm. The memorial is also constructed with the same footprint of the Cold Storage building.

    A walkway leading onto the memorial details a timeline of the fire. And once on the memorial, there is a pillar located in each of the spots known as each firefighter's last location before the building collapsed.

    ``The elevation takes you out of our present time and into remembrance of a specific moment,'' Mr. Kou said.

    Ms. Wang, of Waltham, who designed her presentation herself and is now working with Imai Keller Moore Associates to fine-tune the proposal, has proposed a memorial with three elements: Six pavilions with titanium skin that will reflect the surroundings, including the sun, the forest, the pond and visitors; a terrace that appears to be an amphitheater but looks into the pond; and a walkway above ground that connects the terrace and the pillars.

    Tom Lee, of Stephen Stimson Associates of Falmouth, said his firm developed a concept that turns the memorial into a ceremonial place.

    ``It begins with the park and not just the object of the memorial,'' he said.

    A massive monument raises above the ground, with six rungs on the right corner that allow light to peer through. The rungs give the appearance of a ladder on the monument, what Mr. Lee said symbolizes firefighters reaching out to someone. Moreover, a shadow from the massive monument represents a sense of loss. And, the light from the rungs gives six holes in the shadows, representing the six firefighters. Mr. Lee said the company will also design a polished stone wall on the ground that will include the names of the six firefighters. And the company will set the location of the monument and the stone wall on the ground, so that, once a year (preferably the anniversary of the fire) the light from the rungs falls onto the wall while the shadow surrounds it.

    Weeping Willow trees would be set in the backdrop of the park.

    Ben Smoot of Brookline, who is now working with Jacques Whitford LAND of Woburn for his final presentation, has proposed a row of six stone columns representing loss that will sit aside a row of six glass pillars representing hope. The glass pillars will sit in their own reflecting pool along another reflecting pool holding the stone pillars. Light will reflect off the glass and stone. ``You have the tragedy of Dec. 3 in contrast to the lives and ideals the firefighters had,'' Mr. Smoot said.

    Visitors can walk between the two rows and can see a timeline engraved along the two rows. Each object would be situated according to when a particular event occurred. The remainder of the park may also have a tribute to the entire Fire Department, Mr. Smoot said.

    ``The big idea is this is about time,'' Mr. Smoot said. The whole memorial should establish a sense of permanence of feeling that the people and firefighters have.

    ``People can remember it and learn about it.''

    Photo below

    Colleen Simon, Paul M. Simon and Cristobai Arria with the Gala Simon Associates Inc. design. (T&G Staff / MARK C. IDE)

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