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Arch of Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and International Shrine of the Holy Innocents is a proposed Catholic shrine and monument in Buffalo, New York to honor the Virgin Mary and the Holy Innocents.
The originator of the idea of the arch, attorney Laurence D. Behr, a Buffalonian, reports the inspiration for the project came to him in a dream after reading an article entitled The Pastoral Importance of Shrines. The height of 700 feet was chosen because in Catholic tradition 7 is a mystical number representing perfection.
An association was founded in January 2001 in order to raise funds for the project and to organize its construction. The estimated cost of the project is $100,000,000. The initial fund raising goal was for 1 million donors to each give $100. Such donors would have their names inscribed on the arch.
The proposed arch would be 700 feet tall, a height which includes a giant gold-colored crucifix on the top, and which would make it the tallest monument in the world. There would be two chapels within the arch: the Holy Innocents Shrine at its base and the Chapel of the Triumph at the apex.
An artist's conception of the planned arch, based on an early design, showed it to be more angular in its general shape than the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. A rounder design concept was made available for public viewing in 2010. As with the Gateway Arch, people would be able to ascend the inside of the monument.
The reception of the initial proposal was mixed. The Buffalo News while praising the ideals of the project suggested that the money used for construction could be better spent, and cautioned that such an attraction might be divisive within the community and a magnet for outside actors to sow division.
In 2002, the Buffalo Common Council unanimously passed a resolution in favor of the arch. In the resolution, the Council cited the arch's potential economic impact on the region, the fact that most Buffalonians are Catholic, and the commitment of the shrine association to cooperate with the Council in order to make the structure an attractive addition to the city skyline.
- ↑ Ask the Attorney: An Interview with Laurence D. Behr. Catholic Online (June 25, 2002).
- ↑ John L. Allen Jr. (May 13, 2010). "Pope lauds 'maternity of God' as counter-sign to egoism". National Catholic Reporter. http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/pope-lauds-maternity-god-counter-sign-egoism.
- ↑ Tim Drake (Dec. 2, 2001). "Giant Arch Would Honor Mary’s Immaculate Heart". National Catholic Register. http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/giant_arch_would_honor_marys_immaculate_heart/.
- ↑ Bruce Jackson. Buffalo, city of lousy art. Buffalo Report (blog).
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