Photo of Christopher Tepper (left), Keith Fox, and Paul Kelterborn by Max Flatow
It all began with a question: Why didn't New York City have a proper memorial to mark the many who had experienced HIV and AIDS in the city over the decades. That's what Chris Tepper and Paul Kelterborn (pictured below with Keith Fox, center) co-founders of the AIDS Memorial Park Coalition (and Out100 honorees), started with and since then they have struggled to make that dream to build it.
Yesterday, they unveiled the final renderings of the design from Studio a+i. The streamlined design will feature an 18-foot steel canopy as the dramatic gateway to the new St. Vincent's Hospital Park in the West Village. As it's described in a press release, the memorial also will feature "a central granite fountain, granite benches, and a granite paving surface carved with educational and commemorative text. The text will be curated by a team of historians, artists, community members, and activists led by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Tony Kushner."
The orgnization also launched its capital campaign, hoping to raise $4 million to contstruct and maintain the memorial. So far, it has received commitments totalling $975,000 toward that goal, according to Keith Fox, President, NYC AIDS Memorial Board of Directors.
Many who have not recently been near the site where the AIDS Memorial will be constructed may be startled to see how rapidly the former St. Vincents Hospital has vanished and is already well on its way to becoming luxury apartments. It's that reason in particular that the site alongside the former hospital was chosen for the memorial.
"When it is completed, the AIDS Memorial will be an important place of reflection for so many of us who lost loved ones and friends—and it will also be a reminder to future generations that New York City must be forever vigilant when it comes to protecting the health and well-being of our residents," said Borough President Stringer, who was one of the first elected officials to publicly support the project. "That's why I am extremely proud to commit $1 million in capital dollars to make it possible for us to construct this new and vitally important landmark, so that our City—and the world—will never forget."
For more info on the NYC AIDS Memorial, visit the website.