At 6:05 pm on August 1, 2007, at the peak of Minneapolis rush hour traffic, the Interstate 35W Bridge suddenly collapsed into the Mississippi River. The 8 lane bridge, one of the busiest bridges that span the Mississippi River which snakes through the heart of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, suffered a catastrophic failure. As vehicles slowly crossed the bridge in stop and go rush hour traffic, the steel and concrete beneath gave way, sending approximately 100 vehicles 115` into the Mississippi River. At the time of the collapse, approximately 164 drivers, passengers and construction workers were on the bridge and 13 people lost their lives. The defacto, if temporary, memorial and gathering place during the trying moments after the tragedy became Gold Medal Park, located just one third of a mile upstream from the bridge. Weeks after the collapse, the survivors and families of victims started coming together as a formal group to begin the healing process and discuss plans for a memorial. A 3,000 square foot triangular shaped site was made available located on the Mississippi with views of the newly constructed bridge and collapse site as well as panoramic vistas of the river. The 35W Remembrance Garden site was located within close proximity to Gold Medal Park where so many community members gathered to draw on their communal strength and support in the aftermath of the collapse. The Remembrance Garden was completed in July of 2011 and dedicated on August 1st, 2011 on the 4-year anniversary of the bridge collapse. Upon entering the garden the visitor encounters a set of solid stone steps that rise out of grade and have carved into the face of the top riser an inscription that reads: “This garden is dedicated to those who were lost, those who survived, and those who responded with heroism and humanity – to all whose lives were forever changed at 6:05 p.m. on Aug. 1, 2007.” The inspiration for the Remembrance Garden was derived from the designer`s interactions with the families and survivors after the tragedy with the intent to offer a place for remembrance, commemoration and healing. The message of the memorial is one of quiet contemplation, tied directly and distinctly to the context within which the tragedy occurred. The Remembrance Garden is composed of four unifying and symbolic elements: A linear granite plaza, an overlook platform, the Survivor`s Wall, and thirteen iconic light columns. These 10` steel I-beam and glass columns represent each of the victims whose lives were lost and are materially referential to the original bridge construction. The steel and opaque glass columns remain lit a calming blue at all times, a blue that mirrors the light of the new 35W Bridge which is visible from the overlook platform. The repetition and cohesion of these simple vertical forms expresses a unity of shared experience, while the personalized engravings upon each glass column not only reveals the name of the victim but a personal message written by their family, some in their

Constructed, 2008


Old - American Public Works Association - Project of the Year Disaster in 2009Old - ASLA Minnesota Chapter Merit Award in 2012
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