This Sunday (July 17, 2011) marks the 30th anniversary of the collapse at the Hyatt Regency hotel where 114 people lost their lives. No plaque commemorates the tragedy.
The Municipal Art Commission recently stamped the final approval on a proposal for a Skywalk Memorial, a tribute to the victims and survivors. It's envisioned in Hospital Hill Park, at 22nd and Gillham, as a plaza illuminated by pinpoints of light and with landscaped seating.
[The Kansas City Parks and Recreation Commission approved the project in May 2009.]
Frank Freeman is the president of the Skywalk Memorial Foundation, the group spearheading the effort. Freeman survived the collapse, but his partner did not.
"114 people and all those involved in the rescue and everything, they're finally being recognized," says Freeman. "That has been my main objective is to recognize these people. It wasn't their fault."
Fundraising continues for the memorial. Freeman says they're about halfway to their goal of $800,000. He says he hopes to raise the funds by this time next year.