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East End News

A shrine box to remember the Church Hill Train Tunnel disaster

Inspired by the Orthodox Christian tradition of roadside altars, artist Barry O’Keefe (previously) has recently installed a shrine box to remember the Church Hill Train Tunnel disaster.

“For a while now I’ve wanted to contribute something to the Church Hill Tunnel’s eastern portal to help remember those that are buried there,” he says.

“The roadside altars I drew inspiration from are typically filled with icons, flowers and candles, and function like a headstone and a chapel at once,” explains O’Keefe, “Until such time as CSX and the city can agree on a way to move forward, hopefully this box can help connect visitors with the history of the site.”

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10 comments

Houdon 05/12/2014 at 8:30 AM

How absolutely beautiful. I love the detail that incorporates both train-related iconography as well as an aesthetic that would have been familiar (or seemed of the time) to the victims of the collapse.

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Jan Thomas 05/12/2014 at 10:21 AM

Such a good idea, I am also one who has advocated for public access to the Eastern Entrance. Right now its so hard to get to but what a treasure to find this altar at this tragic site.

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Next Friend 05/12/2014 at 10:28 AM

Great gesture. Excellent in its simplicity. I hope making this area a nice place to visit gets some legs. Would like to see something around here that everyone can rally around to support instead of rally around to oppose.

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Walter Griggs 05/13/2014 at 9:04 AM

This is a beautiful way to remember those who have long been forgotten. May the wandering spirits of those who died in the tunnel always be remembered.

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gigi 05/13/2014 at 9:59 AM

It’s beautiful! Being an Orthodox myself makes me want to go and visit the memorial and give an icon. Not sure but you may wan to let the Priest know at the Greek Orthodox church and he can bless this??

But it would add to the publicity of needing this sacred area to be memorialized, and add to the public awareness. Just a thought 🙂

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