The Pulse Nightclub Memorial site will soon undergo temporary design improvements to create a more inviting and comfortable venue to reflect and remember the tragedy that occurred there on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
After a detailed presentation about the design plans from club owner and onePULSE Foundation Executive Director Barbara Poma, Orlando’s city council on Monday approved the interim plans. Poma explained that the renovation is the first step in a community-driven initiative to create a permanent national memorial and museum.
“This is an important step toward creating a permanent destination for remembering what happened here, but in a more comforting environment while also initiating an urban renewal effort where one is sorely needed,” Poma explained. “These companies have donated not just their services, but their shared creative spirit to help memorialize the loss of life while also creating place of healing.”
The process for creating the design was led by Kody Smith, Christina Hite and Greg Bryla, of the landscape architecture firm of Dix.Hite + Partners, and David Stone of Phil Kean Design, working together with the onePULSE Foundation’s Memorial Task Force. The Foundation’s Design and Construction committee, led by Vicki Berman, reviewed and approved the interim design. This committee will lead the charge of the construction with Rial Jones of Jones Clayton Construction.
The interim memorial will provide areas to leave messages and will include seating, shade, lighting and trees. The iconic Pulse sign will be enhanced but not removed. A new fence will be placed around the perimeter of the nightclub itself, which will remain standing until a decision is made in the future. Much of the labor involved will be completed off-site and new elements will be installed at the site with minimal impact on the surrounding community. Work on the project is planned to start in about two months and is intended to last approximately 60 days.
After the tragedy, the club immediately became an impromptu memorial and destination for visitors. Thousands of guests from around the world have continued to come to the site, stay for extended periods, leave personal items including messages of love and support in honor of those whose lives were taken and others who were affected.
A survey created by the onePULSE Foundation to gather public input about the memorial will remain live until October 31. The survey is open to everyone and is available at www.onePULSEFoundation.org and will serve as the guide for a memorial design.