MIAMI (CBSMiami) – After more than two months, the memorial wall in Surfside has been taken down.
The wall, which formed along the fence of a tennis court in front of where the Champlain Tower South building once stood, had become a fixture in Surfside after the tragedy.READ MORE: One Area To Watch In Atlantic Over Next Week
A group from HistoryMiami Museum spent several hours Monday packing up all the items that could be saved in order to store them and, perhaps one day, use them to create a more permanent memorial.
“We are now cataloging all of the items on this wall. We will then be putting them in different storage containers,” explained Michele Reese Granger, VP of Marketing at the museum. “You’ll see people here hand-wrapping all the different glass objects and putting all of the stuffed animals and things into protective bags.”
The priority, she said, was preservation. They also took photos to keep an account of exactly where the items were on the wall.
With humble beginnings days after the collapse as a few printed photos, it continued to grow, becoming a place of remembrance and tribute to the 98 lives lost.READ MORE: Teen Sister Of Officer Yandy Chirino's Accused Killer Taken Into Custody
“That should have stayed there forever,” said Chris Corrales, who lives in Surfside.
He said seeing the wall suddenly gone came as a shock.
“I live in this town. It touches my heart every time I drive past this,” Corrales said. “I’m offended today that I drove by here and I see the flowers are taken down and the pictures of the families.”
HistoryMiami Museum said they wanted to do this now because it is hurricane season in South Florida, and they want the items to be preserved in their best possible condition.
“This wall is really a legacy to so many lives that were lost, so when the city of Surfside and Miami-Dade County wanted to preserve it, we were able to step in and do what we do,” said Reese Granger. “We hope that these items will be in our care and safe for many years to come.”MORE NEWS: Miami Weather: Brief Downpours Possible Sunday Before Drier Air Works Its Way In
There is no plan yet for what to do with the items. Reese Granger mentioned they could be used as part of a future memorial in Surfside or possible museum exhibit. They are stored in their climate-controlled facility for now.