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Design chosen for city memorial to fallen firefighters, police

The winning design for a new memorial for fallen firefighters and police officers was unveiled Thursday morning.

The winning design for a new memorial for fallen firefighters and police officers was unveiled Thursday morning.

The 110-by-80-foot commemorative site will be near Franklin Square's main entrance at Sixth and Race Streets in Center City.

The design team? Roman Torres, Adam Montalbano and Eric Oskey of Moto Designshop in Old City.

At a news conference Thursday morning at the Philadelphia chapter of the American Institute of Architects, they explained the concept.

Visitors will walk toward a white marble structure - representing the badge of a firefighter or police officer - with a black stone band wrapped around the middle.

Along the stone walkway, one will see black granite slabs on the ground with quotes by firefighters and police officers. Vertical stainless-steel markers will carry the names of the fallen.

The new design will replace the park's Living Flame Memorial, which also honors fallen police officers and firefighters.

Tim McShea, vice president of Local 22, the firefighters' union, described the condition of the Living Flame Memorial as "decrepit" and said a more fitting memorial was needed.

Torres said it was really important for his firm to capture the gravity of the loss of a firefighter or police officer. Looking at past funerals and ceremonies, his team realized the significance of tradition and procession in the ceremonies.

Walking toward the white marble "badge" will be like walking in a processional.

The design includes two rows of evergreen trees, which will line part of the memorial site in an L shape. These trees will act as an "honor guard, at attention at all times throughout the year," Oskey explained.

Moto Designshop, one of 21 entrants, receives a $7,500 prize. A second competition finalist, BAU Architecture of Elkins Park, receives a $2,500 prize.

Bob Bedard, coordinator of the Fallen Heroes Memorial Fund, said the desire to create a new memorial in Franklin Square goes back a decade. The design competition began in September with the help of the American Institute of Architects.

Now, Bedard said, money needs to be raised to make the memorial a reality. A contractor will be hired to come up with a cost estimate, he said.

McShea, who has been the longest-serving volunteer on the new memorial project, encouraged people to attend a fundraiser from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday on the 1600 and 1700 blocks of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, hosted by Irish pubs Tir Na Nog and Con Murphy's.

Donations for the new memorial can also be made at