Hombre de Providence sentenciado a 32 años en prisión estatal por asesinato en 2017
Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy Launches Effort to Restore Iconic Kennedy Plaza Memorial
$10,000 grant jump-starts fundraising plans for Soldiers and Sailors Monument
Providence, RI – The Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy (DPPC), a public-private
partnership dedicated to creating a world-class parks system in our city’s historic urban
core, today announced a fundraising effort to restore the most prominent memorial in
Kennedy Plaza, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Standing across from City Hall, the
monument pays respect to Rhode Island’s veterans of the Civil War. Working with the City
of Providence and RIPTA, DPPC will manage repairs to the structure and improvements to
the landscape around it; the entire project is estimated to cost $300,000.
Soldiers and Sailors is a historically significant presence in Kennedy Plaza and a unique
piece of Downtown’s historic core. Erected at its present location in 1871, the structure was
moved in 1913, and then returned to its original home during renovations in 1997. While
many of Providence’s other war memorials (WWI, WWII, and the Korean War memorial),
are in good condition, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument is not.
There is an ongoing effort to research the names inscribed on the monument, which include
African-American regiments, and reach out to any families that are still in Rhode Island.
Restoration of the monument will require additional donations, both large and small.
The area around the monument is highly underutilized as a public space and the structure
itself is in deteriorating condition that continues to worsen. The DPPC’s plans will unfold in
two phases. Phase One includes refurbishing the stone and bronze in line with historic
preservation protocols; fabricating new cannonballs to replace those currently missing;
repairing the in-ground lighting that surrounds the monument; and making landscaping
improvements around the structure.
Phase Two will invest in permanent infrastructure improvements inspired by the monument’s
original design and footprint. A low metal fence and concrete columns will surround the
monument. Tables and chairs will form a secondary ring beyond the fence, providing an
appealing location for Plaza visitors.
The DPPC is an experienced manager of capital improvement projects in Greater
Kennedy Plaza; it recently completed a $395,000 grant to improve park space with new
lighting, pathways, and electricity. The organization partnered with the Providence
Department of Parks and Recreation to restore two other historic statues within Greater
Kennedy Plaza: The Hiker in the central island and the General Burnside Monument in
“Downtown Providence’s most prominent public space is Greater Kennedy Plaza and
Soldiers and Sailors is its most prominent memorial,” explains DPPC Executive Director
Cliff Wood. “We seek to restore the statue to its original intent so that it may serve its
purpose in fostering connections to history and the land upon which it stands.”
“We are grateful to be able to work with DPPC to restore our city’s vital and historic
monuments, while also brining new life and energy to our downtown public spaces.” says
Wendy Nilsson, Superintendent of the Providence Department of Parks + Recreation.
The DPPC will be responsible for stewarding the project and securing the necessary
funding to complete it. In addition to the grant it has already received, the DPPC will be
raising additional funds at any level; individuals or organizations interested in supporting
the effort are encouraged to contact Geoff Kish, Assistant Director, at 401-521-8800 or
donate online at www.provparksconservancy.org/statue
About the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy
The Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy is a public-private partnership dedicated to
creating a world-class parks system in our city’s historic urban core. We are a
placemaking organization that believes in transforming public spaces by transforming the
way people use them. The core of our current mission is the improvement of Greater
Kennedy Plaza (including Burnside Park and Biltmore Park) through free public
programming, maintenance and stewardship, urban design, community engagement, issue
advocacy, and funding.