Boston Art Commission

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  • Cocoanut Grove Fire Memorial, unknown (1)

Cocoanut Grove Fire Memorial

Artist:

Anthony P. Marra

Location:

17 Piedmont Street  

Location

17 Piedmont Street
United States
42° 20' 59.7696" N, 71° 4' 5.5632" W

Neighborhood:

Bay Village

Type:

Plaque

Year:

1993

Medium:

Bronze

Collection:

Funders:

the Bay Village Association

Description:

On November 28, 1942, a fire destroyed the Cocoanut Grove night club. More than 490 people were killed. The fire’s cause was never definitely determined, but the club’s flammable decorations certainly contributed to its ferocity. Revolving doors that soon became jammed and emergency exits that were illegally blocked and locked additionally contributed to the large loss of life.

The plaque commemorates the dead and notes that, as a result of the tragedy, there were major changes in fire codes and in the treatment of burn victims not only in Boston, but across the country. The plaque, with a bas-relief image of the Cocoanut Grove’s floor plan, was set in the sidewalk near 17 Piedmont Street—the night club’s site—by the Bay Village Association in 1993. It was created by Anthony P. Marra, the youngest survivor of the tragic inferno. Engraved into the plaque “Phoenix out of the Ashes,” a reference to the changes in fire codes and advances in burn treatments that occurred as a result of the tragedy.

To view a short video of the site an plaque follow this link.

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