Walks through Kip Tiernan Memorial on Dartmouth Street become Memorable

Since The Kip Tiernan Memorial near Old South Church in Copley Square was dedicated in early October 2018, I have walked through and also paused there several times. My photos in different seasons suggest how the sheltering structure subtly directs our flow and where we stop to read Kip Tiernan’s words. I feel that the design and details function as intended, to enhance memories and convey an overarching mission.

“Kip Tiernan (1926 – 2011) was a woman of action. When she learned there was nowhere for unhoused women to seek refuge, she founded the first homeless women’s shelter in the country, Rosie’s Place in Boston, in 1974. When she realized the homeless needed more than just shelter — they needed health care too — she helped start the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program. The fruit of her advocacy labor for the vulnerable can still be seen all around Boston, from the Greater Boston Food Bank to the city’s Emergency Shelter Commission.” ( quote from article by Cintia Lopez for the ARTery, October 5, 2018)

“The installation in mid-September is the culmination of more than six years of planning. The work was designed by Boston architects Ceruzzi & Murphy Projects, fabricated by Whetstone Workshop and installed by Chapman Construction Design Company. …
The sculpture is comprised of three stainless steel arches that people can pass under as they walk on Dartmouth Street between Boylston and Newbury Streets. Passages from Kip’s writings are engraved on the columns holding up the arches, making her voice still heard to all who pass by.” ( quote from Rosie’s Place flyer about dedication event October 6, 2018)

“Ms. Tiernan joined Alcoholics Anonymous, learned from recovering street drunks how to stay sober, and became a successful advertising copywriter with her own agency. In 1968, she did some free work for priests who had invited activist Daniel Berrigan to speak at a church.  Listening to him, she later recalled, it was as if a voice inside her head said, “I have just passed through a door, and there is no going back.’’ Leaving the affluence of her advertising life, she moved into Warwick House, an urban ministry center in Roxbury. Using her copywriter’s facility with language, she became one of Boston’s most quotable advocates for the poor, coining phrases such as “from the Great Society to the Grate Society.’’”(quote from Boston Globe obituary by Bryan Marquard July 4, 2011 )

“The three arches represent personal growth and raising awareness to issues, according to the architects who brought the memorial to fruition, Carla Ceruzzi and Ryan Murphy of Ceruzzi and Murphy Projects. The duo took the parameters set by the committee at Rosie’s Place, and crafted their design, which won out over 50 other designs.” ( quote from article by Cintia Lopez for the ARTery, October 5, 2018)

Valuable Links

‘Memorial is dedicated in Back Bay to Rosie’s Place founder’  by Laura Crimaldi for Boston Globe, October 6, 2018

‘Boston Memorial Honors Kip Tiernan, Founder Of First Homeless Women’s Shelter In The Country’ by Cintia Lopez, The ARTery, October 5, 2018: with best photos of the installation in progress

“Kip Tiernan Memorial Dedication and Celebration” notice on Rosie’s Place website

Rosie’s Place founder Kip Tiernan dies at 85 Boston Globe obituary by Bryan Marquard July 4, 2011

“Community Works proves truth of its name” by Alanna Kelleher for The Harvard Gazette, November 2006

“Tiernan and [Fran]Froehlich were Bunting Peace Fellows at Radcliffe in 1988-1989, and Tiernan received an honorary doctorate in human services from the University in 1989. The two women recently wrote a book together, “Urban Meditations” (Poor People’s United Fund, 2006), based on their years of experience working with the poor. “It’s certainly been called outcast theology. It’s not your momma’s meditations,” says Tiernan.” (quote from news by Alanna Kelleher for the Harvard Gazette, November 2006)

One comment

  1. Rebecca MacWilliams · · Reply

    That is so inspiring, Deb! I love the way your enthusiastic joy of discovery potentiates the passion and dedication of Tiernan and that of  the artists and memorial -makers who sought to make it visible for all. I hope lots of people will read this!!Merry Christmas!Love, Bec

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android


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