United States

Tamir Rice Memorial

Situated in the eleven-acre Cudell Commons, a public park located approximately three-and-a-half miles southwest of downtown, this one-quarter-acre memorial commemorates Tamir Rice, a twelve-year-old African American who was shot and killed by the police in 2014 while playing in the park. The memorial, designed by landscape architect Diane Jones Allen of DesignJones, LLC, with local firm DERU Landscape Architects was completed in 2022.The memorial incorporates a butterfly garden, established by local school children and community members, including Rice’s mother, Samaria.  

Framed by sidewalks and wooden bollards, the memorial is nestled between a parking area and playground and edged by lawn. The memorial features planting beds, curvilinear paths composed of brick pavers, resin, and marble, and two plaques, installed flush with the ground plane. One panel, made of polished black granite, features an engraved portrait of Rice and is framed by a rectilinear gathering area flanked by recently established redbud trees. The intersecting paths evoke a dry creek bed, are graded to channel rainwater to the two prominent beds, planted with species selected to attract pollinators. The beds, divided by the brick path, are shaped to resemble the wings of a butterfly. The brick path is interspersed with butterfly mosaics crafted by local artist Angelica Pozo. Simply designed black stone benches edge the memorial, allowing visitors a place to sit and contemplate the commemorative space. Looking east, visitors are afforded views of a rectilinear lawn framed by paths and a clocktower (1917), designed by and commemorating architect Frank Cudell, for whom the surrounding park is named. 

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