Portland, Maine, Armenian Genocide Monument

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Subject:Dedicated to the survivors of the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1923, who settled in Bayside, Maine. (view image)
Type of Memorial:Commemorative Plaque, Inscription, Monumental Sculpture, Park
Sponsor(s):City of Portland Public Art Program, and the Portland Armenian Club
Architect/Designer/Artist:Alan Holt, Architect/Urban Designer
Placement:Free standing granite marker in a landscaped mini-plaza. It overlooks the Back Cove in the neighborhood that was the site of the Portland Armenian settlement.
Physical Setting:The granite marker is officially called the Armenian Monument. It sits in a small plaza with granite benches that is commonly referred to as the Armenian Plaza. It was the brainchild of two longtime local Armenian activists, the late Anthony (Andy) Mezoian and John Malconian, both of whose parents emigrated to Portland from Turkey in the early 20th century. The marker and plaza were officially dedicated in 2003.
Tourist Amenities:No
Physical Condition:Outstanding condition,new.
Inscription:"This memorial is dedicated to the survivors of the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1923, who settled in Bayside. By the early twentieth century over 250 Armenian families lived in Portland where they established businesses and a vibrant social life."

"IN REMEMBRANCE." (In English and Armenian)

Location:Portland, Maine 04101 United States
Location Description:On Cumberland Avenue between Franklin Arterial and Boyd Street.
Web Site:www.portlandplanning.org/cbpubart.htm
Proposal Date:2002
Design Date:2003
Construction Began:2003
Construction Completed:2003
Dedication Date:July 26, 2003
Opening Date:July 26, 2003
Prior Use of Site:Vacant city parcel.
Development/Construction Process:In the summer of 2002, the Portland Armenian Club approached the City of Portland, requesting a site where they could place a plaque to commemorate the Portland Armenian settlement. The City’s urban designer took this opportunity to connect the Club with the Portland Public Art Committee to design an appropriate neighborhood marker. This project coincided with an initiative by the Public Art Committee to create Community-Based art projects. This Bayside Armenian Marker is the pilot project of the Community-Based arts initiative.

The inspiration of the marker is taken from the traditional Armenian Kar(carved stone). The City’s urban designer worked with the Portland Armenian Club to design a granite marker that will be based loosely on ancient Armenian tradition and iconography of creating carved stone markers. The marker contains text, giving some history of the Armenian people, their coming to Portland and their once flourishing community in Bayside.

History of Ownership:Owned by the City of Portland.
Notable Visitors:The speaker at the dedication included Congressman Tom Allen, July 26, 2003.

Click on an image for a detailed view.