PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The downtown art installation created by Rhode Islanders in the wake of 9/11 has been “100% restored.”
The Rhode Island 9/11 Wall of Hope Monument, which used to call the tunnel at Waterplace Park home, is now in the process of being installed along the colonnade between the entrances of the America Mutual Pavilion and Rhode Island Convention Center.
The hand-painted ceramic tiles were moved from their original location nearly five years ago in an effort to preserve them. Nearly 13,000 Rhode Islanders contributed to the monument back in 2002.
“Every single aspect of the restoration process was donated,” Rhode Island 9/11 Wall of Hope Monument Executive Director Jennifer Robinson said in a statement. “From the architectural design and oversight, to the sealant, to the many hours of labor extracting tiles, to the many hours of welding new frames and supports; and from the donations of steel and its galvanizing … the list of altruism and effort goes on and on.”
Robinson estimates that the nonprofit organization created to oversee the restoration process received more than $500,000 worth of donations.
The newly-restored monument, which consists of 90 steel frames, is currently being housed by the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority. It is being installed free of charge by Ironworkers Local 37.
“This monument was created and restored by hundreds of volunteers over many years, including family members who lost loved ones in the 9/11 tragedy,” Gilbane Building Company’s Alex Mendoza said. “To me, the Wall of Hope is a reminder that our country will never forget those who lost their lives, and that we will continue to remember and honor them forever.”
Robinson hopes the eventual unveiling of the newly-restored monument will “rekindle a sense of
community and common ground among those who gather in remembrance and honor.”