There’s no AIDS memorial in San Diego, but a group of LGBT advocates is hoping to change that.
The project on the table, though, is a shadow of what it once was. A much larger AIDS memorial came close to being built in Balboa Park almost 25 years ago. Now folks are saying the city deserves more than the small, hidden memorial that’s being planned.
Despite the grumblings, the San Diego AIDS Memorial Task Force is moving forward with plans to add a tribute to those affected by the disease. The memorial is set to be part of a small new city park that will be built on a currently vacant lot at the corner of Third Avenue and Olive Street in Bankers Hill.
The task force, led by Katherine Faulconer, wife of Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and longtime LGBT activist Nicole Murray-Ramirez, has raised $42,000 in private funds. The group recently put out a call for design ideas, and the task force will soon select the top three designs, then let the public vote on the best one.
Construction on the park and the new memorial is scheduled to break ground next year.
Two decades ago, a much larger AIDS memorial was planned for the west side of Balboa Park. In 1994, the Living AIDS Garden had a budget of $303,000 in private funds. It cleared several layers of approval before the City Council eventually voted it down.