Iowa City Unveils Chain Link Fence Monument In Remembrance of Ped Mall Construction
Citing that future generations should be “reminded of the duty and sacrifice made by those before them,” Iowa City officials unveiled plans to erect a chain link fence monument in the heart of the Ped Mall, recreating the minor inconveniences that residents and business owners endured from 2018-2019.
“The past few years have been marked by constant construction in downtown Iowa City,” said Patricia Albright, city council member. “We feel this monument is a testament to the endurance of our residents, and will serve as a reminder of how you had to sort of walk around in a circle, maybe turn around a few times in order to get to place you needed to be. Because that’s exactly what we’ll all be doing.”
Despite the impressive new additions made during the construction project, they will remain completely off l
imits to pedestrians, explained city officials. Instead, the monument will “immerse Ped Mall shoppers in history” with a speaker system producing the sounds of table saws, skid loaders, and other obnoxious equipment at the top of every hour.
“The unflattering noises of an active construction site have interfered with the Ped Mall’s charm for years. With this memorial, our children and grandchildren will know exactly what it was like to try and eat soup at The Bread Garden Market with a jackhammer blasting away at concrete just feet away from you,” said Albright.
Hundreds of stone plaques detailing the somewhat frustrating incidents endured by Iowa City residents of the time will be placed around the monument, causing similar difficulties for those who stop to read them.
“My day was going just fine,” said Marc Anderson. “But walking past the memorial, I became distracted by a tablet describing how a visiting family from Wisconsin once walked two blocks out of their way trying to find that frozen yogurt shop. I was ten minutes late to a meeting, and a little sweaty. It really makes you stop and think about how people lived like this.”
City officials aim to further celebrate the lengthy renovation by hiring actors in period-costume to imitate the work of the project’s real construction workers, reminding all who see them that “it was sort of irritating for a few weeks, but you got used to it after a while I guess.”