The Doris Duke Monument Foundation (DDMF) announced today that the a gift to the City of Newport, are officially underway.
DDMF’s renewed plans for Queen Anne Square were designed by world renowned artist Maya Lin. Entitled “The Meeting Room,” the installation includes three small, shallow foundations to illustrate the history of the property and provide community gathering spots. Construction of the project is being completed almost entirely by local Newport and Rhode Island companies and contractors, including the foundation’s stone carvings by Newport artist and stone carver Nick Benson.
The $3.5 million enhancement of the park, which was approved by a 5-1 vote by the Newport City Council last December, brings more green space, seating, trees and additional lighting to Queen Anne Square, at no cost to the Newport taxpayers. The project is intended to honor the memory of Doris Duke, who championed Newport’s historic preservation, and as a tribute to the effect of historic preservation as a catalyst for community revitalization.
“Our number one goal has always been to provide a safer, cleaner, and more welcoming park for Newport and its visitors,” said Pieter Roos, Executive Director of the DDMF. “After gathering more public input and support for our plans, we are more confident than ever that this goal will be met.”
Roos added, “This is an important milestone in helping us renew Doris Duke’s vision for Queen Anne Square and the City of Newport. We look forward to the next phase of the project and completion of the park next spring.”
Work on the project commenced on October 10 after DDMF and the City of Newport received a Remedial Approval Letter (RAL) from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) on October 9.
The RIDEM approval letter, which can be seen on the RIDEM website, came after a thorough environmental evaluation which included soil testing, an extensive public comment period, and ultimately the submission of a Remedial Action Work Plan (RAWP).
With soil remediation and construction in process, final completion of the project remains on schedule for Spring 2013. Improvements to the park include free wi-fi, extensive public seating, eight additional trees and enhanced, environmentally friendly lighting.