The state of Minnesota selected LEO A DALY to design the new Minnesota Fallen Firefighters Memorial on the State Capitol grounds to honor the sacrifice of Minnesota firefighters killed in the line of duty.
The approximately 6,000-square-foot memorial incorporates several distinctive design features within a landscaped garden and paved assembly area. The main focal point is a large monolith supported by a grid of steel columns that houses the Minnesota Fire Service Memorial Statue. This bronze, figurative sculpture of a firefighter rescuing a child, which is currently on display at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, is lit by natural light through a circular void in the monolith.
The monolith is made of weathering steel, which over time rusts to form a protective coating. The organizing grid of 100 potential pavilion columns embodies a repeating century of years – 10 decades by 10 years per decade. Currently, an incomplete constellation of 83 columns are mapped on the grid, recording the years in which Minnesota firefighters have died in the line of duty. The names of each of Minnesota’s fallen firefighters are inscribed on the columns. The design allows for new columns to be added onto the grid for additional inscriptions in the future.
Also, the memorial ground rises to present approaching visitors with a wall inscribed with names of the 791 fire departments throughout the state. The site’s landscaped garden and paved area provides a space for quiet reflection and contemplation, and also serves as the ceremonial location for large annual memorial services.
Construction of the $500,000 memorial, which was completely funded by Minnesota’s firefighters, will begin in May 2012 and completed by September 2012. BD+C