Moments ago I received an email asking what ever happened to the Arch of Triumph project that was proposed for the Outer Harbor back in 2001. To tell you the truth, I really was not aware that the proposal and renderings even existed. In the body of the email was a link to a YouTube video along with a website. After listening to the video voiceover touting that the arch would be the world’s largest monument and a wordwide symbol that would basically stand for an end to abortion, I was surprised that I was not aware of the plans. Between raising the abortion issue in such a manner, while attempting to erect a massive monument on our waterfront, I would have figured that the controversial subject matter and the scale of the monument would have triggered some sort of recollection. Nope. As viewed on the website (see interior and exterior designs), the Arch of Triumph was to have:
“…a Cross within the Arch, the upright member being a bank of four high-speed elevators, the cross-member being a lower observation deck/refreshment area 425′ high and holding 400 people comfortably. Covered with gold-tinted glass, the Cross will be softly illuminated at night. The Holy Innocents Shrine below the Arch will seat over 700. The 635′ high upper observation deck, with 12 windows bearing the names of the 12 Apostles, will hold 800 comfortably. From there secondary elevators and stairs will access the Chapel of the Triumph, 655′ high and seating 275. The Arch’s blue, star-embossed dome is topped by an illuminated cross pattée having a representation of a white Eucharistic host in its center. The Arch is covered with gold pre-finished aluminum metal cladding. Its forecourt will feature a monumental, golden statue of the Holy Family, and classical columns supporting lintels on which titles of Mary in the great Litany of Loreto are engraved in gold.”
Here are a number of articles written around the time of the proposal. Does anyone remember what the reaction was around the city when they were published? It’s kind of an interesting design – if the plans have been dropped by the anti abortion movement (The Association for The Arch of Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and International Shrine of the Holy Innocents), this would make for an incredible outer harbor amphitheater.