Long Beach city staff last week floated half a dozen ideas for a memorial commemorating those who’ve died from AIDS, ranging from a simple mural to a grove of trees, a large sculpture or a full-blown memorial plaza.

The City Council asked in October for staff to study the feasibility of an AIDS memorial. An eight-page study released Friday laid out potential options that could cost anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million depending on how elaborate the design is.

“The vision for a Long Beach AIDS Memorial is to create a place of healing reflection and beauty that will promote learning, understanding, and remembrance of those we lost to the tragedy of AIDS,” the report said.

More than 300 people with HIV died in Long Beach between 2018 and 2022, according to data from the city. The rate of new HIV infections in Long Beach outpaced both nearby Los Angeles and California as a whole — nearly doubling the statewide rate.

Long Beach looked to other cities as a place to start for memorial ideas. The National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco, for instance, “is a place for quiet reflection among the rhododendrons and redwoods, where people can seek out solitude or gather in groups for memorial services, celebrations, and picnics.”

In Los Angeles, the AIDS memorial includes artistic walls with the etched names of more than 1,000 people who died from AIDS. And in West Hollywood, a more elaborate plaza with over 100 bronze pillars is planned.

A rendering of West Hollywood’s planned AIDS memorial included in Long Beach’s feasibility study for its own memorial.

The city has not settled on any particular idea or design. A location would also have to be picked.

City staff suggested a handful of ideas, including somewhere along Broadway in the newly formed LGBTQ+ cultural district, near the LGBTQ Center at 2017 E. Fourth Street, in Bixby Park or at the Civic Center.

Bixby Park already has a new mural honoring the LGBTQ+ community that could be incorporated into a memorial, the city said.

A mural at Bixby Park called “Long Beach Embrace,” shows scenes of people, movements and landmarks pertaining to Long Beach’s LGBTQ+ history. The mural was unveiled on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023. Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

To get the process going, the city could put out a request for design ideas from artists, architects and engineers, but any money to design and construct a memorial would need to be approved through the 2025 budget. No money has been allocated so far.

You can read the full report here.

Jeremiah Dobruck is managing editor of the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @jeremiahdobruck on Twitter.