Denison unveils new Main Street memorial plaza
DENISON, Texas (KTEN) — The City of Denison has unveiled a new landmark honoring the history of the city and a life gone too soon.
The Grayson Berry Memorial Plaza on Main Street was created by the Berry family. Grayson was a Denison native who died in 1960 when his bicycle collided with a truck. He was just 10 years old.
The Berry family settled in Denison in 1889, only seven years after the city's founding. Berry's friends and family wanted to make something to honor both their hometown and their brother.
"His childhood friend, Larry... he brought the project to us, and we thought it was absolutely brilliant," said Berry's sister, Karel Anne Berry-Tieszen.
Each plaque commemorates a part of Denison's history and famous residents, like U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and airline pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, both of whom were born in Denison.
At the center of the memorial is a plaque memorializing Grayson Berry himself.
"My favorite part is that it's open, it's inviting, and it's a great way for people to learn more about Denison, because I grew up here and there were some things that surprised me," said Kris McKinney, Berry's sister.
The plaza's design takes unique advantage of its position on Main Street.
"It's in a semicircle, and as you walk around, the sun hits some of the plaques at certain times of the day and sort of lights them up," said Larry Matthews, the plaza's designer and a childhood friend of Berry.
The ceremony concluded with a ribbon-cutting, celebrating the official opening of the 100 block of West Main Street as part of the Designing Downtown Denison renovation plan.