Volunteer members of Downtown North East, Inc. have renovated the stout metal structure situated in the southwest corner of Gibson Park. The structure stood for many years known as the Freedom Shrine as it housed replicas of historic documents of the United States of America.
Erected in the park by the former Exchange Club of North East, the Freedom Shrine structure sustained damage over the years by weather and vandalism. Many of the documents inside were badly damaged by sun and were undecipherable.
DNE, Inc. volunteers requested permission from North East Borough Council to take over responsibility for the structure as the Exchange Club disbanded a few years ago and the structure was unattended.
Just in time for the Cherry Festival, in line with committee goals, the newly renovated structure was unveiled with a fresh coat of paint and new displays behind each of the kiosk’s six windows.
Residents are invited to stop by the new informational kiosk to see the result of several months’ work and planning by DNE, Inc. volunteers. Visitors to the area will find much helpful information there as well. The kiosk has information on local schools, the North East Historical Society and Lake Shore Railway Museum, the North East Arts Council, DNE, Inc., North East Area Chamber of Commerce and North East Borough and North East Township. Local events are listed for these entities and will be updated regularly.
DNE, Inc. thanks The Remnant Store and Judy Pentz for the donation of nine yards of Sunbrella fabric and C&C Signs for painting the kiosk. Thank you also to Rodney Blystone, for helping the Freedom Shrine documents find a safe home elsewhere in the community. DNE Design Committee members prepared the design materials for the kiosk with special effort from Cheryl Phillips and Darlene Youngs.
DNE thanks North East Borough Council for granting permission to use the structure as an informational kiosk and for providing Borough staff to remove and replace the Plexiglass.
Special thanks is expressed to the North East Community Chest for its $2,000 grant to undertake this project.