The Port Commission is looking for ideas and input on the design for the Mariners’ Memorial. KSTK’s Shady Grove Oliver has more.

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The Mariners’ Memorial has been in the works for years. The idea surfaced about two decades ago.

Then the Port Commission took over the planning about three years ago and it’s finally coming to fruition.

Port Commission chair Brennan Eagle says there are some funds from other projects that’s being put toward the memorial.

“We’ve got a little bit of money left over from some of the final work that was done at Heritage Harbor and we’re able to take that money and put it into trying to develop a formal design process,” says Eagle.

This week, there will be two public brainstorming sessions. Chris Mertl of Corvus Design will be in town to go over some of the ideas.

“They specialize in these outdoor park-like structures and have designed a couple of other memorials within the state of Alaska so that’s why we chose to work with them—because they have an area of expertise in that,” says Eagle.

Eagle says he hopes Mertl will help bring together the loose ideas with the actual physical space. In about a month, Mertl expects to give the Port Commission a more concrete plan for the memorial. Then, the Commission will see what it does and doesn’t like and revamp the next draft.

But, Eagle says, because it’s a memorial for the whole community, the Commission is looking for input. What do you want it to look like? Who should it commemorate? How should it fit into the natural space?

“We’re looking for any type of feedback associated with the Mariners’ Memorial. The site has been set so it’s any type of feedback from the building that would be going on it to the way to display plaques of people who will be included in that, any type of outdoor artwork, quiet areas, shelter, just about anything. It’s going to be very loose. We want to get as many ideas as possible included in this initial design phase of this,” says Eagle.

The Commission is looking for feedback in person, in writing, via email or phone. Eagle says he’s also open to any sketches or art concepts as well.

“Oh definitely. We have an ongoing file folder of some ideas. But if there’s any new ideas out there, we would love to have those and see how and if they could be incorporated into the final design,” says Eagle.

The public is encouraged to attend both brainstorming sessions this week.

After the final drafts are accepted, the Commission will look at funding options and open a bid for the architectural phase.

For more information or to submit feedback, call Brennan Eagle at 907-874-2162 or talk to any Port Commission members (John Yeager, Dave Silva, Clay Hammer, or John Martin). You can also drop off written comments or drawings to Harbor Master Greg Meissner at the Harbor Office.