And what better place for it than the Greenway? Not because the 1919 sticky death flood happened there, but because the Greenway is where all memorials are supposed to go these days (and the state is seeking proposals for what to put atop Big Dig ramps).
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So we're approaching the end of 2014, and they're still 'seeking proposals?' That tells you all you need to know about anything the government touches. Here's a suggestion: divide the property into lots, and sell them. The buyers will figure out what to do with that property, and it won't take them a generation to do it.
No, I'm pretty sure a not-for-profit with precarious-to-nonexistant financials will be able to construct an complexly engineered building if we just want it enough.
There's just no need. It's a funny footnote in history, that's all.
PS. Stephen Puleo wrote a great book about it: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Tide-Great-Boston-Molasses/dp/0807050210 (Uh, so not a footnote, I guess ...)
It sounds funny because of the word molasses and all but it's quite serious.
You're right, it was pretty funny when all those people died grizzly deaths.
Puleo's book is definitely worth the time.
For the impatient, some reasons for historical significance are well summarized in Wikipedia:
"Local residents brought a class-action lawsuit, one of the first held in Massachusetts, against the United States Industrial Alcohol Company (USIA), which had bought Purity Distilling in 1917. In spite of the company's attempts to claim that the tank had been blown up by anarchists: (because some of the alcohol produced was to be used in making munitions), a court-appointed auditor found USIA responsible after three years of hearings. United States Industrial Alcohol Company ultimately paid out $600,000 in out-of-court settlements (at least $10.7 million in 2012 dollars). Survivors of the fatal victims reportedly received approximately $7,000 per victim (approximately $125,000 in 2012 dollars)."
Molasses was shipped to Massachusetts from the Caribbean for distillation to alcohol for centuries as part of the Triangular Trade.
This was also in the wake of the Sacco & Vanzetti prosecution, so anti-immigrant settlement.
This was also in the wake of the Sacco & Vanzetti prosecution, so anti-immigrant sentiment drove the initial investigation.
Who cares, go ahead and put it there!
Seriously, if they can pay, who cares what the memorial's to. Just put something up. Everyone hemmed and hawed about the Armenian Heritage Memorial, and to date, not only is it one of the non-government funded things that has gone up, but it's also one of the nicest parts of the Greenway.
The polygonal object is ugly. In no way does it communicate a memorial to anyone. The labyrinth was an excuse for privatizing pubic space and thus justifying the black eyesore. But a labyrinth needs to be in a place that supports the purpose of a contemplative walk. Not in a space where a contemplative walk is constantly badgered by horns, motorcycles, boom boom cars and the many other sources of noise.
Of course the Greenway was originally to not have any memorials. But apparently there are local descendants of Armenians who have a fair amount of political juice.
The simply parks, especially the lots near South Station are, in my opinion at least, the most pleasant and pleasing lots in the string. I would place the fountain as 2nd nicest lot when kids are running through the fountain.
This thing killed several people as it was.
What would happen today if such a tank let loose - Big Dig Tsunami? Orange Line? Green Line?
This thing killed 21 people, which is tragic and all... But do we really need a giant memorial to the "Great" Molasses Flood?
The Coconut Grove fire killed four hundred and ninety to friggan people and it gets a plaque in Bay Village.
Actually, I'm all in favor of a memorial to the bad effects of corporate greed and blown-up attempts to blame terrorists for the results of lies and negligence. Talk about things that should never be forgotten....
Originally the Greenway was to have no memorials. The Armenian memorial was the result of very good politicking.
A memorial to the Great Molasses Flood is a nice idea. It's local lore. Not quite as dramatic as the Triangle Shirtwaste Company tragedy but still dramatic in its own right. So if someone wants to put up the money find a spot in the North End.
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