The Garden of 11 Angels: Cleveland releases plans to build memorial for Imperial Avenue murder victims


CLEVELAND (WJW) — Plans for The Garden of 11 Angels are moving forward and the city of Cleveland released renderings of the memorial’s design.

In a recent planning commission meeting, the city sat down with Whitley Architects, who were hired by the city to design a memorial that commemorates the lives of the eleven victims whose bodies were found hidden in and around their killer, Anthony Sowell‘s home at 12205 Imperial Ave.

The city said it hopes this peaceful garden will serve as a space where the community can gather, reflect and honor the lives and memories of the 11 women, and is also intended to uplift the surrounding neighborhoods of Mount Pleasant and Buckeye-Shaker.

The plans said the memorial will cover not only the lot where Sowell’s house once stood, but seven other lots that surround it, totaling 70 feet by 120 feet, as shown in the photo gallery above.

The garden will have an entry plaza with a seating wall, a pathway and a memorial monument with the names of the victims on it and an excerpt of the poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou.

The plans also include restoring the property with native plants, including 33 native trees, native wildflowers, forbs and grasses.

The city recognized this area is a painful and traumatic memory for the families of the victims, the survivors and the neighborhood and said, “Over the years, many community and faith leaders have worked together towards establishing a memorial to honor the victims of this horrific act of violence.”

A Cuyahoga County jury gave Sowell a death sentence, but he died on Feb. 8 at the age of 61 with no execution date.

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