As development of riverfront parkland continues in Northeast, Sheridan Park near the shores of the Mississippi will soon be home to a memorial honoring Minnesota veterans who have fought in conflicts over the years.
A Minneapolis Park Board committee on March 7 approved a design for $1 million sculpture as well as eleven surrounding markers, one for each of the conflicts involving Minnesota soldiers. Full Board approval is likely on March 20.
Local artist Robert Smart is designing the statue. Plans call for a 25-foot sphere in the middle of a paved walking circle. The sphere would symbolize peace and defense. It would be illuminated with LED lights to signify the everlasting light for those who served and lost their lives, according to Smart.
“We are trying to create a metaphor for peace, not glorifying war,” Long said.
The 11 markers surrounding the sculpture will have “anonymous” faces with text below describing each war or conflict, except one will be blank.
Sheridan Park is just north of the Broadway Avenue Bridge. It’s still largely undeveloped, but the Park Board approved a master plan for the park back in 2007. The memorial would be built on the south end of the park, with construction running from early spring until October. A dedication is planned for Veterans Day (Nov. 11).
The $1 million project is funded through $753,000 in state grants, $98,000 from the Sheridan Neighborhood Organization, $18,000 from veteran donations and $53,000 from Hennepin County.
The Park Board will be responsible for maintenance and operations, which is estimated to cost $19,000 per year.
Landscaping plans call for a tree canopy and a path to the river.
A group of World War II veterans, organized by Northeast resident Ed Karbo had been working on getting a memorial since at least the mid 1990s, said Project Manager Deb Bartels. Karbo died in 2010 and only Howard Weller remains from that original group, Bartels said.
A group of nine Park Board family members who are also veterans reviewed the sculpture and supported the memorial concepts, Bartels said.