Memorial Wall Torn Down

Information reprinted with permission of the Courier Times, local newspaper New Castle, Indiana

Memorial wall torn down

Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2016 6:00 am

The New Castle Parks Board is one step closer to completing one of the tasks identified for 2016 in its long-range plan.

The memorial wall located just north of shelter house No. 1 in Baker Park was recently torn down by parks department personnel. Nine metal plaques attached to the wall, containing the names of people memorialized by loved ones, are being stored at present.

The wall, which was reportedly constructed in the early ‘90s, had fallen into disrepair. The bricks of which it was constructed were flaking and crumbling and the mortar between the bricks was falling out. It was rapidly becoming an eyesore and current board members expressed concern that it wasn’t a fitting tribute to those it was designed to memorialize.

Ideas about what sort of structure should replace the memorial wall have been discussed the past several months. At Tuesday’s parks board meeting, board member John Henderson made a suggestion other board members and Mayor Greg York supported.

Henderson suggested replacing the wall with granite-faced stone pillars, similar to the flagstone columns near the Aquatic Center, and calling the site the Cornerstones of the Community.

As proposed, the pillars would be approximately five feet tall and three feet wide by three feet deep with a stone cap on top. The names from the former wall could be inscribed on the granite fronts and other names could be added. The pillars would be constructed in a circular shape with a bench of some kind between them and a decorative or flowering tree in the center.

“We could have one for military and one for police, fire and paramedics. We could have another for youth, one for community service people and maybe a couple for anybody who wanted to put a loved one’s name on a pillar,” Henderson said.

Henderson suggested the entrance to the site be an archway that would match or be similar to the arch over the main entrance to the park.

If this is the route the board decides to take, the existing metal plaques would be returned to the family members of those memorialized.

“I’m excited. I think it will be beautiful,” board president Patty Broyles said following Henderson’s presentation.

There are no funds budgeted for such a project, which prompted Broyles to ask Mayor York how such a project would be paid for. He suggested soliciting donations to cover the cost and indicated he would work on the financing involved.

A vote on Henderson’s proposal was delayed until drawings and additional details are available, but the board appeared to be satisfied that the pillars approach was the route they intended to take in the future.

Read The Courier-Times for updates as they become available.

The next parks board meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 3 in council chambers on the second floor of the New Castle Municipal Building, 227 N. Main Street. That meeting is open to all interested parties.