The city of Orlando has been in talks with the owners of the nightclub Pulse about the possibility of buying it and converting it into a memorial. Representatives for both parties mentioned the possibility on Wednesday. According to them, Mayor Buddy Dyer and Barbara Poma, one of the club’s owners, began discussing the possibility a few weeks ago.
In a Tuesday interview on the radio station WMFE, Dyer said, “We need to determine some period of time that we leave it exactly as is with some adequate fencing because there will be people … that want to travel here to see it as it exists without making modifications.”
Dyer added that he believed the city and the owners would give people about a year to visit the Pulse as it is and then begin to convert it into a memorial.
The Pulse was the site of the deadliest massacre in modern US history. On June 12, a gunman killed 49 people and wounded over 50 others. He also perished. The police kept control of the club for several weeks and eventually returned it to Poma, who has not yet reopened it. The club has been surrounded by a chain-link fence ever since the attack. Visitors have decorated it with flags, mementos, flowers and messages.
Orlando has other plans to ensure the slain aren’t forgotten. One permanent memorial will be a paver garden with the victims’ names carved on stones that will be placed around Lake Beauty Park. The city chose that location for it is near the Orlando Regional Medical Center, where many of the wounded received treatment. The site had already been used as a temporary memorial consisting of 49 crosses. Those crosses and other items from temporary memorials are being stored for use in a permanent memorial.