The site of a building collapse that killed six people in Downtown Philadelphia will be turned into a memorial park. Mayor Michael Nutter says the Salvation Army is donating the corner lot for the project.
A bouquet of artificial flowers is all that mark this patch of chain linked fencing as the site of unspeakable tragedy. Now, a major step forward will transform this place into one of healing.
"The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia has generously offered to donate the land on which their shop existed at 2140 Market Street to the city of Philadelphia," said Mayor Michael Nutter.
The June 5, 2013 demolition collapse at 22nd and Market killed six people and injured more than a dozen others.
There have been talks of turning the site into a public park and memorial. The city had considered buying the corner lot to that end, but this donation makes the process cheaper and quicker.
Jerry Sweeney chairs the memorial committee.
"This parcel of property will be a place to reflect. Our message today is to thank everyone for recognizing that this was the right thing to do," he said.
City Treasurer Nancy Winkler lost her 24-year old daughter Anne Bryan in the building collapse. She has fought hard to turn 22nd and Market into a place of remembrance not just another storefront.
The Salvation Army is the target of civil lawsuits in connection with that building collapse. A Representative was on hand for today's announcement but did not comment.
Two demolition contractors are charged with murder in the June 5 deaths inside the thrift store.
The land donation must still be finalized at both ends but hang ups are not expected.
The design concept for the park is set to be announced April 1 with a design competition to follow. Total cost of the project about a $250,000 and private donations are being accepted.
A home invasion suspect in Montgomery County is accused of terrorizing two homeowners. Now more police departments want to know if he's connected to other cases.