Hall of Fame, Plaza & Fountain Dedicated
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Click here for a full photo album from the dedication
The historic National Humane Alliance Fountain is now surrounded by the Hall of Fame Plaza.
The City has officially dedicated its new Hall of Fame Plaza at the Division Street Entrance to the Derby Greenway. Jack Walsh, chairman of the greenway Committee served as master of ceremonies, evoked a sense of pride in seeing the history of one of the country's smallest and oldest cities brought to life through its connection with the Greenway and Hall of Fame. He introduced Mayor Anthony Staffieri who spoke briefly about the significance of the project and thanked all those who played a role in making it happen. State Representative Linda Gentile brought along the congratulations of the Valley's legislative delegation which secured funding for the local match of federal funding required to complete the project.
The inductees in the new Hall of Fame were formally announced by members of Venture Crew 1762, Boy Scouts of America. The Scouts were dressed in colonial garb as they are working with the Derby Historical Society. They read the names of the 11 inductees and the inscriptions on each of their bricks. Walsh reported that the full story of the accomplishments of the inductees will be available on the city website.
The Plaza also includes two trees which are part of a city wide tree planting program sponsored by individuals which began a year ago with installation of trees on Founders Commons.
Walsh then thanked City Engineer Mike Joyce for his design work, R Jaffer Masonry for completing the brick installation and Aldermen Ken Hughes for completing the landscaping. He pointed out that in addition to the Hall of Fame, the plaza includes more than 125 bricks bought by people from as far away as Australia to commemorate their families and ties to Derby. He noted that in addition to the Plaza, the city was also dedicating 13 benches along the trail He urged those in attendance to walk the trail and read the engravings on the benches for the inspiring messages that can be found on them.
Mayor Staffieri and Representative Gentile then cut the ribbon and the Mayor threw a switch that started the water running through the restored fountain after more than fifty years!
Posted September 1, 2007
Workers including Mayor Staffieri and Aldermanic President Ken Hughes have completed the landscaping around the beautiful new brick plaza surrounding the restored National Humane Alliance Fountain and the new Derby Hall of Fame. It also includes two French Lilac plants, the official flower of the City. The plaza will not only contain the engraved bricks for the first 11 members of the Hall of Fame, but also more than 125 memorial bricks that have been purchased not only be Derby residents, but by people as far away as Australia. The City will also be unveiling the engraved plates on the 13 benches which are located along the popular Greenway. The last of the benches were installed on August 31, and R. Jaffer Masonry did a marvelous job with the installation of the bricks.
The National Humane Alliance Fountain has been fully restored to its original beauty as the lions heads which have been missing for decades were reattached to the fountain following the installation of a new water line and pump to the fountain. Electrical service has also been installed and the water will be turned on again as part of the dedication. The fountain just received a complete cleaning by Seccombe Brothers - the same firm that originally installed the fountain at its first location on Atwater Avenue in 1906!
The City of Derby has been working on this enhancement phase of Greenway construction for months. The Greenway was officially opened on Derby Day in 2006. The city has completed the installation of trash receptacles and thirteen benches have also been installed along with engraved plates recognizing the individuals and groups that sponsored the benches. Bike racks have been installed as well.
More than 325 bricks have been purchased so far, but you can still order yours. Click here to find out how. Want to see what people are putting on their bricks and benches? Click here to see the engravings on the small bricks, here to see the engravings on the larger bricks or here to see the bench engravings.