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Ground Broken at Legacy Memorial Park in Honor of 2009 Metro Crash Victims

by Prince Of Petworth June 23, 2014 at 3:10 pm 22 Comments

Rendering via DGS

From a press release:

“Mayor Vincent C. Gray broke ground [Sunday] at the site of the new Legacy Memorial Park, which will honor the nine people who perished during the 2009 Metrorail collision. Mayor Gray was joined by family representatives, members of the nearby community and congregants of Greater Saint Paul Baptist Church. The $1.8 million memorial – which will be located across the street from the church – is scheduled for completion in December.

“The Legacy Memorial Park will honor and celebrate the lives of those involved in the events of that day through reflective design and artwork,” Mayor Gray said. “This park will be a public space for mourning and connecting to the human spirit. We will never forget the nine lives lost that day, and we will forever honor the heroism of our first responders.”

The winning design team of sculptor Barbara Liotta and architects Lucrecia Laudi and Julian Hunt of Hunt Laudi Studio have created a vision for the park that creates a space for people to connect with nature’s beauty amid a setting of artistic reflection to honor the victims, emergency personnel and countless lives altered by the tragic accident. The design team was selected through a competitive process conducted in partnership by the Office of the City Administrator (OCA) and the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities (DCCAH). An Art Selection Panel convened by DCCAH, representing family members’ diverse interests and expertise, reviewed the qualifications of the artists and the finalists’ designs. Bennett Paschen Joint Venture will be the general contractor to build the memorial park.

“Through art, we can create a space and place that adds new meaning to one of the most unfortunate days in the District’s recent history. The families, as well as the public, will have room to reflect,” said DCCAH Executive Director Lionell Thomas. “The memorial incorporates both families’ and citizens’ voices.”

The park design includes nine sculptural artworks, a memorial wall with an inscription written by family of the remembered, landscaping and hardscaping, as well as the installation of new lighting and streetscape amenities.

The Legacy Memorial Park is located at the entrance of the Blair Road Community Garden in Ward 4 at the intersection of New Hampshire and South Dakota Avenues NE.”

  • Anonymous

    Holy moly this is right next to my house, I saw the groundbreaking ceremony but didn’t know what it was for. That picture makes the land right there seem huge, its really not that big.

  • Anonymous

    $1.8 million…. wow, I can think of plenty other areas where this money is needed and could be spent.

    • Anonymous

      And I can think of a lot of ways that most of the money our government spends could be put to better use.

      • brookland_rez

        Maybe if the money had been spent on Metro upkeep, we wouldn’t have to be spending it on a memorial….

  • frickorfrack

    The General and his wife who were killed in that accident (along with others) were stellar people. You would not meet finer, more gentler souls.

  • Where is the corner of NH Ave and SD Ave? I’m looking at a map and I don’t see where they intersect.

    • Ashley

      yea that is not correct, its more like New Hampshire and Oglethorpe NE

      • Anonymous

        It’s correct. Check out the streets signs on Google street view.

      • Yup, right behind the Washington Animal Rescue League. WARL is closed to the public on Mondays. The pups totally freaked out. Took weeks for them to calm down.

    • Anon

      I’m assuming it’s by NH and Blair, close to but not intersected by S Dakota. I live around there and thought the same.

      • Anonymous

        NH is intersected by SD there. It’s a lonely two block stretch that connects to the north end of 1st st NE, but is completely disconnected from the majority of SD ave that most people are familiar with.

    • Anonymous

      If you’re headed out NH ave toward MD, South Dakota is the last street that crosses NH ave before you reach the bridge over the Metro tracks.

  • jt21

    The crash was a terrible tragedy, and we (WMATA) should learn from it and take concrete steps to be sure it doesn’t happen again. But this seems like a rush to memorialize for the sake of being able to say there’s a memorial (which there is, albeit behind the turnstiles in Metro Center).

    Public memorials, and the events they seek to recognize deserve time to absorb into the public consciousness. If after a decade or two have passed and we look at this 2009 accident as a turning point in public transportation safety, then maybe it deserves a memorial. Until then, I still give second thought to being in the front (or back) car of a metro train.

    • ClevelandDave


  • Anonymous Coward

    The crash is sad and all, but a memorial for 6 people?

    Who approved this memorial? Where is the money coming from? To whom did it go? How much money went the other way?

    • Anonymous

      Nine people died in the crash.

    • It was a horrible accident. Perhaps a plaque or marker maybe close by, but $1.8 million for a memorial park even the neighbors cant find… for 9 people.

      I hate to agree with these comments but here you go… In 2009 33 people died in car crashes in DC.

      Where is the Memorial for that?

      • Anonymous

        Just off West Virginia Avenue.

    • TG

      My immediate reaction was that this was a part of the settlement with the victims family. That is the only way I can rationalize it. I am not trying to be insensitive but this is crazy.

      • Shawly

        That’s the only way I can make it make sense. It’s tragic, but so are many things.

        In addition, this park (based on the rendering) is ugly and not “usable.” People aren’t going to come here to enjoy the tiny patches of grass or uncomfortable seating. Tour buses aren’t going to come and listen to park rangers explain the significance of the memorial. It’s going to get run down and trashy, doing a disservice to the city that could have used that money for something useful and the memory of the people who died in the accident.

  • H

    Yeah… this seems like an absurd waste of money and major overkill. People die, bad things happen, it sucks, but that’s life.

  • I’m worried that this is going to be a sad little place. Right next to a busy road with little foot traffic. Will anyone in the neighborhood visit this place?


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