Place of Remembrance, Gateway to Campus undergo planned summer refurbishing work
One of Syracuse University’s most symbolic and cherished campus locations is undergoing a planned refurbishing this summer—a project that will ensure the structural longevity of the area that honors the 35 SU study abroad students whose lives were lost in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on Dec. 21, 1988.
The major refurbishing of the Place of Remembrance—dedicated on April 22, 1990 as a memorial to forever honor the victims of Pan Am Flight 103—comes as the world will recognize the 25th anniversary of the Pan Am Flight 103 tragedy in December 2013.
Work began this past May and is targeted to be complete by the end of October, in advance of the University’s annual Pan Am Flight 103 anniversary events that welcome SU community members, families and visitors to campus and the Place of Remembrance.
“The Place of Remembrance is more than a gateway to our campus,” says Judy O’Rourke, director of the Office of Undergraduate Studies and member of the Victims of Pan Am Flight 103 board of directors. “It invites us to reflect on the importance of personal relationships and it reminds us of our responsibility to act in ways that promote scholarship, dialogue and understanding. It is an area that is very important to victims’ families and everyone impacted by the Pan Am Flight 103 tragedy. Completion of this project will ensure a lasting foundation for honoring the memory of those lost.”
The Place of Remembrance consists of the Remembrance Wall—a semi-circular structure made of limestone and granite, where the names of the 35 SU study abroad students who died on Pan Am Flight 103 are seen—and a circular stone bench that displays a plaque to Paula and Glenn Bouckley of Clay, N.Y., who were also lost on Flight 103.
Both the Place of Remembrance, and the Gateway to Campus—the prominent dual stairway campus entry at the base of the esplanade leading to the Hall of Languages —are collectively part of the summer restoration project being led by SU’s Office of Campus Planning, Design and Construction (CPDC).
When the project is complete, the Wall of Remembrance will be constructed of a new limestone carefully selected to withstand outdoor elements, with weatherproofing details that will provide long-term resistance to weathering.
Additionally, the etchings of the names of 35 student names on the Wall of Remembrance will be renewed. The project includes replacing the current overall tablet with a denser, high-quality black granite, and each name will be newly hand-inscribed into the renovated memorial wall by a specially selected stone engraver.
The circular stone bench in the center of the Place of Remembrance area is granite and will remain as is; the surrounding walking surface is also granite and some of those ground panels are being replaced.
In the Gateway to Campus area, the light fixtures on the flanking columns at the top of the north stairs will be restored to their original appearance. Restoration of the adjacent staircases and sidewalks are also part of the project, providing a physical upgrade to the area regularly traversed—and photographed—by the University community and visitors to campus.