PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The downtown art installation created in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks will officially move to its new home this fall.
The 9/11 Wall of Hope Monument, which was taken down from its original location in 2018 in an effort to preserve it, will soon take up residence along the colonnade between the entrances of the Amica Mutual Pavilion and Rhode Island Convention Center.
The effort to restore the wall is being spearheaded by Jennifer Robinson who leads the nonprofit organization created to resurrect the art installation. But Robinson no longer lives in Rhode Island, so she reached out to the head of Grace Church in Providence for help.
“It was [Robinson’s] baby, her project 20 years ago,” explained Father Jonathan Huyck, rector of Grace Church. “When the panels had to be moved, she took on the project of rehabbing them and finding a new home for them. She called and asked me if parishioners at Grace could help out getting the panels ready for reinstallation and I said we’d be happy to help out.”
On the weekend of the 21st anniversary of the terrorist attacks, volunteers from the church gathered at a downtown warehouse to give the tiles and the panels they sit in a facelift.
“We’re sanding them, we’re cleaning them and we’re putting two coats of paint on them to get them ready to be installed,” said Alex Mendoza, the project engineer.
Nearly 13,000 Rhode Islanders contributed hand-painted ceramic tiles to the 9/11 Wall of Hope, which was originally installed in 2002 at Waterplace Park in Providence.
“This monument was created and restored by hundreds of volunteers over the years, including family members who lost loved ones in the 9/11 tragedy,” 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.”
Mendoza said in the new location, the wall will have more eyes on it.
“This is going to be installed in a really central location in downtown,” Mendoza said. “It’s going to be [there] for people to see and hopefully people will enjoy it.”
The panels will start being moved to their new home next month, and the project is expected to be completed by November.