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Cleveland Landmarks Commission approves and praises design of Tamir Rice memorial

(Plain Press, August 2020)            At its July 9th meeting, the Cleveland Landmarks Commission unanimously approved the design for a Tamir Rice Memorial on the grounds of Cudell Recreation Center, 1910 West Boulevard. Tamir Rice was a 12-year-old student at Marion Seltzer School at the time when he was shot and killed by a Cleveland Police Officer at Cudell Recreation Center in November of 2014.

The design for the memorial includes a granite stone engraved with an image of Tamir Rice and words from Tamir Rice’s family, benches, and a stone paver path to an existing butterfly garden – with images of butterflies painted on the path by neighborhood children. The memorial site would include a stone dry creek bed with different colored stones which would help direct rainwater to the butterfly garden. The site will incorporate native plants in the design including a white flowering red bud tree near the granite memorial as well as the continued use of native plants in the butterfly garden.

At the virtual meeting of the Landmarks Commission, Ward 15 Councilman Matt Zone promised to help engage kids from Marion Seltzer School to help with the painting of the butterflies.

Zone also confirmed that Marion Seltzer School, which sits on W. 98th Street, just to the east of Cudell Recreation Center, would be rebuilt on the school district’s current site, and the new school building would not impose on the site of the memorial.

Landscape Architect Jayme Schwartzberg of DERU Landscape Architecture in Cleveland, and Diane Jones Allen of Design Jones out of Dallas and New Orleans, worked with Samaria Rice, Tamir Rice’s mother, to shape the design of the project. Schwartzberg and Jones Allen gave a presentation about the design of the Tamir Rice Memorial and surrounding landscape to the Landmarks Commission.

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